Thank you everyone who took part in Mary Hocking reading week – whether reading along with us or sharing and commenting on blog posts. These things all help to spread the word and assist in getting Mary Hocking a little bit more recognition.
It was especially lovely that in time for this Mary Hocking reading week some of her books have been made more available by Bello books. I was further delighted that the pieces I wrote and made available to Shiny new Books also came out this week, great timing from the SNB team there!
I know of lots of people reading Mary Hocking this week – not all of them bloggers – but I like to try and include everyone in my round up, my main fear being that I inadvertently leave somebody out. Please shout out if I have missed you – I will try my best to come back and edit you in at a later date.
Some of the other people I know who enjoy reading Mary Hocking I know through other forms of social media – Facebook – where there is a small group called Mary Hocking Readers and the Librarything virago group – a forum for VMC readers. A few of Mary Hocking novels were re-issued by Virago in the 1980s and 1990s.
Librarything member MrsPenny has been reading Mary Hocking very enthusiastically – she is already a big fan, managing to read The Mind has Mountains, He who Plays the King and is currently read The Sparrow – all of which I have old hardback ex-library copies of – but have yet to read. LT member Rainpebble has been reading The Meeting Place – and very much enjoyed it. She says:
“Last night I completed my first read of The Meeting Place and as I pretty much only read in bed, I couldn’t wait to get to bed the past couple of nights. I loved it and cannot find any fault in it. There were so many subplots within the main storyline and yet I did not find myself confused with the characters nor the stories. M.H. was just such a good writer. In The Meeting Place Clarice is a woman who works as a prompter for plays and as such finds herself in the countryside & on the moors while working on Pericles. In this place she begins to find people, local historical events & places that are seemingly familiar and before she knows it she is seeking more.”
(Rainpebble – LT Virago Modern Classics group)
Over on my FB Mary Hocking Readers Group, Nick has been reading Good Daughters which he hasn’t quite finished yet.
“The evocation of 1930s West London is brilliant, and effortless. I love the slightly austere formality of the style, although as another reviewer has said, perhaps this rather distances the characters too much. I look forward to finishing!”
(Nick T – Mary Hocking Readers group)
Another member Anne-Marie tells us that she has brought out her old copies of the Fairley family trilogy which she has introduced to her fourteen year old daughter – who has been enjoying them, she says:
“Mary Hocking’s ‘Good Daughters’ got off to a slow start, and I almost put it down, but I’m very glad I didn’t because towards the middle it began to get very good and I very much enjoyed it and liked seeing how everyone’s characters changed and developed as I read through the book. Her writing style also got better along the way, and I thought it was written very well and precisely, and I think it’s a very unique type of approach to writing.
I think my favourite person is most probably Alice, because even though she is seen as the main character (and nobody ever likes the main character!) I like her because she is the most sensible and is a very real individual, because in most books I think the characters don’t really think like a person would in real life.
I would definitely read more of Mary Hocking’s books – I am on the second book, ‘Indifferent Heroes’, already! I enjoyed ‘Good Daughters’ so much I read it in a day, (There was a 6 hour car journey involved!) but I think it’s a shame Mary Hocking’s novels are nearly all out of print.
I’m pretty sure that if you like books such as ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott, you will enjoy ‘Good Daughters’.”
(Eve aged 14)
I was really pleased that some blogging friends have also joined in with this reading week – and have already posted reviews. Liz read and reviewed A Time of War – one of my favourite books of last year – and I believe has already started reading its sequel The Hopeful Traveller. Simon from stuckinabook read and reviewed An Irrelevant woman which is undoubtedly one of my favourite Mary Hocking novels. Jane from Beyond Eden Rock also read Good Daughters and hopes to read the next two novels in the series. Juliana from the Blank garden also read Good Daughters – and moved straight on to Indifferent Heroes – I love her review written in the form of a letter to Mary Hocking. Lady Fancifull – crept in just under the wire with her lovely review of Visitors to the Crescent – her first ever Mary Hocking she says it certainly won’t be her last.
Please visit the above blog posts if you haven’t already – they are all wonderful.
If you haven’t read any Mary Hocking yet then maybe you have been inspired to read one in the future – If so I would love to know.