Tuesday, May 27, 2008

tir-ə-ˈmē-sü on Tuesday

To be tagged for a book meme on the day after a holiday is like being handed a nice helping of Tiramisù--a pick-me-up for the doldrums. This came my way from the generous and talented Anno , so here we go:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The book nearest me at the moment is The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd (1977). I picked this up at a thrift store just this morning for $.60 because it was 25% off Tuesday and vaguely remember that it had been made into a Masterpiece Theatre drama a few years back. On page 123 I read the fifth sentence and here are the sixth through eighth:

I remember twice the blood seeping through those bandages from a wound that wasn't healing, perhaps because of the way he was forcing himelf to walk on that leg. I read the names of these villages through which he probably marched with his men, An-ping, Hsiao-tun-tzu, as though they were stations along a railway line I traveled often, though in the names I saw blood and ruins. This is Kentaro's second war in only a few years.
The entire novel is the diary of Mary MacKenzie--described as 'lively, curious, unspoiled'-- and her trip from Scotland in 1903 to the Far East where she is betrothed to a military attache. Enlarge the lovely cover art giving clues to her adventures and where and with whom. Actually I'm a sucker for the cover illustrations on any book, so I might not have otherwise stopped to look at a historical novel set there in that time period. But as with my introduction to India at the turn of the last century from Rumer Godden's book The Peacock Spring this might be another lucky, serendipitous find that will change me even more.

Here are the first lines from Mary on the SS Mooldera off Aden, January 9th, 1903:

I was sick yesterday on my birthday, after not having been sick crossing the Bay of Biscay and even in the storm off Malta. It seems silly to have been sick in a little sea like the Red
Sea, but when I did get to the deck at sunset, to escape from Mrs Carswell's groaning, the Second Officer came up beside me at the rail and said that I had been unwell because of the ground swell from Somalia.

...and so adventure begins in a beguiling--and changed--part of the world during a time I can only read about. I'll keep you posted.

No. 5 of the meme requires me to tag five others and I. . .pick. . .

--Judy who is in Midlife Bliss
--Inland Empire Girl who hosts a Gathering Around The Table
--Bobbie who is Almost There
--Simply Me who asks, life, how did I get here?
--Imelda, the Greenish Lady


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tag. My grandmothers middle name was Vieno.

anno said...

What a lovely find! I especially like the way the young woman on the cover turns her head to potential readers, as if inviting them to join her in her adventures. The lines you quoted make it sound as if there are real challenges and real growth ahead for the heroine. Thanks for introducing me to a new writer and a new book -- and thanks for playing along!

bobbie said...

I don't understand. I left a comment, but it isn't here. Well, never mind. here is another.

I did it! I went ahead and did it as soon as you tagged me. The book was right here, and I just went to page 123 and finished the job.

teabird said...

I just ordered The Ginger Tree on interlibrary loan - sounds wonderful!

Granny Smith said...

Oh Dear! I had tagged you for this same meme! A senior moment, no doubt. This was fun to do, but there are entirely too many tags bouncing around the blogsphere. I'm going to do those that are sent to me (some of them several times) but I am going to stop sending them on.

Well, I'll just accept this post as a wonderful answer to the my tag.

You have one of the most beautiful blogs anywhere - in every way, nut I was thinking visually.


Beatriz' suitcase contents said...

I read this book a while back, but I remember liking it, and learning a lot from it. I would say your tiramisù has the right ingredients! I love the cover too, and I do "judge a book by its cover" sometimes. I remember picking up "Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close" because I fell in love with the cover. A cover that did justice to its contents as far as I am concern.
I like this meme, thank you for sharing.

GreenishLady said...

I picked it up and ran with it... though my book was of a different stripe altogether!

Inland Empire Girl said...

I will get to this meme soon! I have always wanted to read The Ginger Tree

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