AS Byatt once asked her the last of these questions, and received the answer that Fitzgerald "had read the records of the salt mines from cover to cover in German to understand how her hero was employed". But when we are asking "How did she know? She had a novelist's and a shy person's fear of being boringly informative: But it is more than just a taste for economy. It is the art of using fact and detail so that it becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
The Blue Flower opens with a famous scene of washday in a large house, with all the dirty bed-linen and shirts and undergarments being thrown down from the windows into the courtyard. When remembering this scene and its density of effect, I always think it must last a whole chapter - even though, in a Fitzgerald novel, that need mean no more than seven or eight pages. But whenever I check, I find that, in fact, it lasts less than two pages - pages which, alongside this domestic scene-setting, also manage to announce key themes of German Romantic philosophy and inconvenient love.
I have reread this scene many times, always trying to find its secret, but never succeeding. Mastery of sources and a taste for concision might lead you to expect that the narrative line of Fitzgerald's novels would be pre-eminently lucid. Here is the start of The Beginning of Spring. In the journey from Moscow to Charing Cross, changing at Warsaw, cost fourteen pounds, six shillings and threepence and took two and a half days.
This sounds almost journalistically clear, and is, until you reflect that almost any other novelist would have started a Russian novel featuring mainly English personnel by having a character travel - and thereby take the reader with him or her - from London to Moscow. Fitzgerald does the opposite: But the sentence seems so straightforward that you hardly notice what is being done to you. And here is the first sentence of The Blue Flower. Jacob Dietmahler was not such a fool that he could not see that they had arrived at his friend's home on the washday.
Again, another novelist would have been content to write "Jacob Dietmahler could see that they had arrived. A double negative in the first sentence trips our expectation of uncomplicated entry into a novel; further, it sets up the narrative question, "So in that case, just what degree of a fool was Jacob Dietmahler?
The definite article hints quietly at the German behind it - am Waschtag - and lets us feel, at a nearly subtextual level, that we are in a different time, a different place. It eases our fictional way. For that is one initially puzzling aspect of these last four novels: Rather, they feel like novels which just happen to be set in history, and which we enter on equal terms with the characters we find within them: Fitzgerald's benign wrong-footingness culminates in scenes where the whole world, as physically experienced and relied upon, is given a sudden tilt.
At the start of The Gate of Angels, a violent rainstorm turns Cambridge upside down - "tree-tops on the earth, legs in the air, in a university city devoted to logic and reason"; while at that novel's end, the titular gate miraculously opens in what might be a quasi-religious moment, or an outrageous plot device lifted from ghost stories - or, perhaps, both. Then there is that epiphanic scene near the end of The Beginning of Spring. Dolly wakes in the middle of the night at the family dacha to find Lisa, temporary Russian governess to the Reid children, dressed to go out; reluctantly, she takes Dolly with her.
They walk down a path away from the light in the dacha's front window until a moment when, "although the path seemed to run quite straight, the light disappeared". The forest closes in on them. Among the birch stems Dolly begins to see "what looked like human hands, moving to touch each other across the whiteness and blackness". In a clearing, men and women stand pressed each against the trunk of a tree. Lisa explains to the tree-people that, although she knows they have come there on her account, she can't stay; she must go back with the child.
If she remembers it, she'll understand in time what she's seen'. It was as strong inside the house as out. Is the scene - for which we have only the child's point of view - a dream, a hallucination, the memory of a sleep-walker? If not, what is its register? Are the woods coming to life, as they do in the pantheistic poetry of Selwyn Crane, the novel's Tolstoyan dreamer? Does the scene symbolise female awakening or personal liberation, for Dolly, or for Lisa, or both? Perhaps Dolly has witnessed the preparations for some pagan rite of spring only a few pages later, Stravinsky's name is quietly mentioned.
Or might the secret meeting in the forest be straightforwardly political, even revolutionary Lisa, we later discover, is a politico? Some, even all, of these interpretations are possible, and, mysteriously, not incompatible with one another. This short passage occupies a mere three pages of text, but as with the laundry scene in The Blue Flower, it expands into something much larger in the memory.
And again we ask ourselves: Those looking for specific answers in her Letters will be disappointed. But while we may discover much about the mainspring and composition of her non-fiction - about Burne-Jones, Charlotte Mew and the Knoxes, also about never-completed works on the Poetry Bookshop and LP Hartley she spent three years on what would have been a startling biography - there is comparatively little about her novels.
There are acknowledgments for cheques received and opinions about cover designs; she articulates her discouragement in the face of criticism and her pleasure at success. There are unambiguous references to "easily depressed authors", moments when she seems to invite that publisher's charge of amateurishness "Thankyou for ringing about Human Voices.
I've found various small bits on the backs of envelopes that should have gone in, but perhaps it's too late to do this, I hope not though" , and wry reactions to how she is viewed "I'm said to be of the school of Beryl Bainbridge which is a good corrective to vanity, I expect". We learn a little about her research: But there is very little about theme, character, technique, style. Perhaps no one asked her; more likely, she thought such matters best kept to herself.
If this is at first superficially disappointing, it is in the longer run satisfying: One of our better-known novelists once described the experience of reading a Fitzgerald novel as riding along in a top-quality car, only to find that after a mile or so, "someone throws the steering-wheel out of the window"; another, while praising The Beginning of Spring, called it "scatty".
These judgments seem to me profoundly misconceived. There has been a break-in at his press; the malefactor fires a revolver at Reid, who apprehends him, but decides not to report the matter to the police. However, he fails to offer the street's nightwatchman, who must have been aware of the incident, a hundred roubles, "somewhere between tea-money and a bribe", for his silence. As a result, the watchman goes to the police:. From them he would have got considerably less, but very likely he needed the money immediately.
Probably he was caught in the tight network of small loans, debts, repayments and foreclosures which linked the city, quarter by quarter, in its grip, as securely as the tram-lines themselves. Novels are like cities: Others, the subtler, wiser ones, offer no such immediately readable route-maps. I liked that there was no unnecessary drama. And I liked the progression of their relationship.
View all 4 comments. May 31, Courtney rated it it was amazing Shelves: Not only were we able to learn more about Julien and his past, we got to see more of Priest as he opened up to Robbie, too. The three of them together are crazy hot - I think my headphones might melt when this comes out on audio! He brings so much light and color to their lives. More seriouser than the first to me. Even though we again get all three's perspectives the story is Julien-centric, complete with flashbacks. Julien's turmoil is front and center and while I understand why he's haunted I also felt the big reveal was anti-climactic.
I was expecting something MUCH bigger and more nefarious. However, what I really liked about this one is the relationship development.
Frank is building something between these three that is binding them together but is also unique to e More seriouser than the first to me. Frank is building something between these three that is binding them together but is also unique to each "couple" within the triad. Naturally, I favored the dynamic between Robbie and Priest. That scene in the closet I also like how Robbie's bubbliness is softening the rough edges of the other two.
He's like an eager puppy that just puts a smile on everyone's face, including mine. He really is a burst of color in their black and white and gray world. Sex is pretty hot. That shower scene gets a gold star. Not as hot as the first one, though that could just be me. People should watch out for the drug usage and binge drinking.
Maybe it is overly fluffy but I liked that they all show emotion and aren't afraid of their feelings. View all 22 comments. Sometimes the best memories made are the ones you don't even realize you're making. It's no secret that I loved Robbie when I met him in the Temptation Series and I've wanted him to get his own book ever since. When I found out that he was getting not one book but an entire series, I was so happy.
And so far it has not disappointed. Julien was just as amazing as the first book and I loved getting more of Julien "The Prick" Thornton's story. It was heartbreaking but it will mak 4. It was heartbreaking but it will make you swoon, smile, and fall even more in love with Julien, Robbie and Priest. It was not easy sure but they each brought in something to balance the other two out and it was something special to watch.
It was crazy steamy. If there's one thing you can expect from Ella Frank, it's that she always brings it her all. Julien does end on a cliffhanger but it's not as bad I thought it would've been. So thank god for that small miracle. I'm excited for the last book plus it's going to be in Priest's point of view and I cannot wait for it. An arc was provided in exchange for an honest review.
View all 3 comments. Jun 07, Lorraine Lesar rated it it was amazing. It was a case of He was all passion, fire and loyal.
But was it all that I needed? I love these three and I love Ella. No spoiler, but it fell a bit flat for me and I was left slightly deflated. Priest and Robbie getting wet together. View all 21 comments. And while I didn't necessarily buy into Julien's self-imposed guilt trip because I believe his sister was an adult and made her own choices, I blame most of it on his parents.
His parents should have been there for him too. They weren't the only ones to lose someone they loved. It was kind of hard to reconcile how he remembered them as loving parents to them completely removing him from their lives. But I was glad Robbie was there this time. He was just what Julien needed. I love how they are coming together and forming a relationship. Robbie is definitely the light and heart of the union. And I'll mention again, I love that Priest and Julien don't want to change him at all.
And of course, another damn cliffy. On to the next!! View all 10 comments. Julien is the second book in the Confessions trilogy, I could not wait to read this even putting another book on hold. This continues from where Robbie the first book ended continuing the polyamory relationship between Priest, Julien and Robbie. I must admit I struggled with this one I even skimmed the sex scenes as they went on forever, I much preferred their banter and cheeky flirting. Julien's dark secret was a let down as well I expected something more dramatic, yes it was sad but not his fault Julien is the second book in the Confessions trilogy, I could not wait to read this even putting another book on hold.
Julien's dark secret was a let down as well I expected something more dramatic, yes it was sad but not his fault at all so I don't get all the guilt, I don't want to say what happened but everything that happened that night was planned without him knowing and he just went along with the plans and his parents are assholes for the way they have treated him since that night.
I am looking forward to Priest the final book where we discover more about his past and hopefully Priest and Robbie will be okay. And of course I loved having Logan and Tate pop up but sadly not together. After reading the reviews I seem to be in a minority here but you can't love em all. Jun 02, Cadiva rated it it was amazing. Things start to get a little bit more complicated as Ella Frank explores more of the dynamic which makes up the enigmatic French-American chef Julien Thornton.
This series is way more than just the menage aspect of it, though. Each one of the three men involved in this relationship brings something the other two needs and that is never more obvious than in this middle book of the trilogy. Julien is hiding demons and, as the time approaches closer to his beloved twin sister's death, it becomes clea Things start to get a little bit more complicated as Ella Frank explores more of the dynamic which makes up the enigmatic French-American chef Julien Thornton.
Julien is hiding demons and, as the time approaches closer to his beloved twin sister's death, it becomes clear there's something very wrong with the usually gregarious man and Priest is worried. Robbie can go some way to helping relieve the strain. And oh boy do they go! This book ups the sex quotient ante a thousandfold and includes a scene which blows the roof off which I won't spoil because it needs to be appreciated without warning. The intricate emotional weaving together of these three men becomes even more obvious here and it's never more needed than when they return to Julien's home town of LA where Robbie finally learns about the ghosts in his lover's past.
There's a cliffhanger ending in this one, although Robbie's integration fully into Julien and Priest's life is completed here, and it involves the most enigmatic of all - Joel Priestley, Priest, the lawyer who on the surface, is controlled and unflappable. ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review Book 1 ended with Robbie ringing the doorbell, ready to move in with his two boyfriends Julien and Priest. But he couldn't have come at a worse time. Priest just got a call about his past. And Julien is also preoccupied with something in his past.
But our darling Robbie is just the right person those two need to calm down a bit and not go crazy in these hard times. I really enjoyed reading this book. Those 3 boys are just sooo adorable! All three completely different but so perfect for each other! And this time Robbie has his hands full with Priest and Julien.
He's in a bad, sad, sorrowful, grieving, gulity mood at the moment because his sister's death's 'anniversary' is coming closer. And he's not dealing well. Just like every year since she died eight years ago. But Robbie is an immense help for Priest. Robbie knows just what to do and say and not ask in those situations. And next to Julien's problems, Priest's problems - which were already mentioned at the end of book 1 - they're almost here now.
We'll learn more about it in book 3. And to say Robbie is a bit shocked about it all, is a huge understatement! OK, what can I say to wrap this review up?
But our three boys will have a LOT more to deal with in the next book! The tiny little things that still bother me - but that's just me. The fact that the book is not written in the first person POV!
Also - still not a fan of Priest's hair color!!! And he's my favorite of those 3 guys. Jul 08, Christelle rated it liked it Shelves: Not a stand-alone Whining here: And I quite enjoy the dynamics here as Robbie, Julien and Priest compliment each other nicely. Add that Ella Frank knows how to write hot chemistry imo.
And hot it is, no question about it. Before that, it was only some strong hints, but not enough for me to understand why it affects Julien so much. Hence, I couldn't really get into the story. Thank you so much, dear author, for your care when writing in French. And once again in book 2: View all 23 comments. May 29, Elsbeth rated it it was amazing Shelves: Started as soon as it hit my kindle and finished within 8 hours.
I really love the dynamic between these three men. Robbie is so perfect for the two of them. Julien Ever since something happened in Julien's life 8 years ago, he's been struggling living with the guilt. Gone is his ability to pretend he's only this happy-thriving-married-man. His guilt pulls him under so much, he is scared Robbie will forever see him differently. Surely he wouldn't be that forgiving as Joel?
But of course Robbie is and some He's able to pull the pieces of Julien together and shows him another way to coop with the loss. How much having you here this weekend means to him. You understand what he needs when he needs it, and every time you give it, I find myself trying to work out exactly what we need to do to make this - to make you - permanent in our lives. Ella always is able to connect me with her characters so much. The sexual relationship between them is scorching. It's really hard to write a review for Cover Up without including spoilers but I will try my hardest.
Discovered left us with Emily getting in a car crash. In Cover Up we read about the aftermath from the accident. Emily is torn between her ex Adam, who has professed his love for her and her current boyfriend Julien. There are Cover Up is book two in the Cover series. There are some circumstances that happen that makes this decision tough for Emily.
Kim Black doesn't disappoint with Cover Up, she gives us a few shocking twists and a cliffhanger. I was a little surprised by the ending but then the epilogue shocked me. It left me wanting more. Uncovered Scars it's Diana's story. I'm not a big fan of Diana but I can't wait to read her story. Oh my god I thought it couldn't get better boy was I wrong I need book 3 right now.
Editorial Reviews. About the Author. BETH McCAIN lives, breathes, and writes Positive Thought. The author of many books—including five co-authored with her . And when it comes to a broken heart, there are no rules, only time For the past eight Bernadette This is book 2 of 3 in the lives of Priest, Robbie and Julien.
Poor Emily she keeps having people mess with her like Charlette Julian's ex. The way it his book ended you keep wanting more I swear Kim Black knows how to keep you into a book trance. Julian I wanted to punch him for leaving her when she needed him the most. Poor Adam he keeps getting kicked down too what Diana did to him and Emily was unforgivable but I think I know what's wrong with her at the end of the boo Oh my god I thought it couldn't get better boy was I wrong I need book 3 right now.
Poor Adam he keeps getting kicked down too what Diana did to him and Emily was unforgivable but I think I know what's wrong with her at the end of the book which I will not tell you'll have to read to find out. Again you must read this series you won't get disappointed. The gorgeous Julien is determined not to lose Emily, but he has some serious work to do. I really felt sorry of Emily. Book 2 in the cover series picks right up where 1 left off! Emaily was in a terrible accident and this book follows her journey to recover and to sort out this mess between her and Julien and Adam.
Which may have been easy, had she not woken up in the hospital with amnesia!! Are her friends really her friends? Is Charlette going to give Julien his divorce? This was such a good book and a great addition to the cover series! Looking forward to reading 3 in this series!!
Thank you everyone who supported me through all of this. Cover Up was a challenge but you all showed me nothing but love and I am truly grateful! Here are the purchase links: Kim Black sure knows how to suck a reader in! Surprises that reader will not see coming! Cover Up picks right up where Discovered leaves off. As I have said before this series is awesome! I just love Kim Blacks' books and look forward to reading more from her!!!! Emily's life is a whirlwind.
I need to know the outcome!!!! Cannot wait for the next book. Jun 04, S. It ended where book 1 finished and left on a cliffhanger arrrr I can't wait to find out what happens next and am so glad Emily got her memory back. Review will be on Ltmk Onbooks as part of a blog tour. Can't wait for the next one love love love this series. I absolute love this book, I can't wait til the next book. Kim Black is an amazing author! Cover-up was a great read! I was constantly wondering what would happen next!
Mar 07, Itsy Bitsy Book Bits rated it it was amazing. Running and hiding is what Emily does best when her life gets complicated. But this time she may have made the biggest mistake of her life. All Emily really wants is for the lies and hidden secrets to stop and her life to be right. Suddenly her thoughts go haywire in her head. Her world just went silent, dark and cold. The man t Running and hiding is what Emily does best when her life gets complicated. The man that is deeply in love with her sits day after day waiting for some response from his beautiful Emily.
He has to make her understand what she saw in his office is not what it seems. He needs her but there is one huge problem he has to rid his life of before they can have a life. He is now determined to solve the issue. She has a number of truths for Emily to here. Diana doubts their friendship will survive what she has to tell her. Emily has a very long road ahead of her and decisions to make about all the people who seem to be strangers to her. I felt all the emotions these characters felt and the struggles Emily is going through. This is a must read!! So start with Discovered.
You will be glad you did. I really want to give the books more stars. I loved the plot. I liked the characters, but I didn't love Emily. But what really held me back was the lack of editing. Usually, this isn't something that bothers me; I can generally glide right over it and move on. However, with this bundled book there were so many instances that it was very distracting and would bring me to a complete stop in the middle of a scene sometimes the beginning and end of the same scene.
With all that, I'm definitely interested in what will happen in the next book. Hopefully, the conclusion with better editing.
Emily is in the hospital. She wakes up believing that her and Adam are in love. She has lost the last of her memory. She loves Adam but has some Hot dreams of Julien. As the weeks goes by Emily struggles with what is familiar and what is just out of her reach. Will she get the man of her dreams or the man who was her first love?
This book shows so much emotion. You feel like your the characters. Kim writes a beautifully and can't wait to read Take Cover. Feb 15, Jenny Dauksa Schaber rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm so proud of the way Emily has decided to take control of her life. She goes through a hellish time in this portion of the serial and re-learns all of the deceptions from the past year, but it's so worth the journey that she's on.