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Comments for The Top of the World
The Top of the World: 12/12/06
It's a topsy-turvy world when one can be at the top of the world in South Africa and that's the central theme of Ethel M. Dell's romance The Top of the World. The book appears to be a simple romance (girl pines over boy and finally gets boy) and goes as far as to have a giant heart on its cover. It is anything but a simple romance (at least of the sort that were popular at the turn of the last century). It could be described as a proto-bodice ripper. The bodice ripper is mostly an invention of the 1970s but this romance has all the trappings of one (minus the pink and suggestively illustrated cover).
The novel dances a fine line along a number of more conventional plot lines but whenever the heroine (Sylvia) should do the obvious thing, she does something completely unexpected. Does she stay at home to pine over her lost love? No! She goes after him. Does she go home when she can't find her lost love? No. She takes a marriage of convenience. Does she honor and obey her new husband? Decidedly no!
Curious to see how much an aberrationThe Top of the World is for this era of book (it was published in 1920) I did a search on the author, Ethel M. Dell. According to Wikipedia she had a hard time getting published because her first book (like all the others, I suspect) was so unconventional (especially for a female author). She did finally find a publisher and once it sold, she made quite a career from writing. She was eventually able to support herself and her husband on the money she made from writing (some £30,000 a year).
Gratitude #12: Rain:
It's a good think I enjoy wet weather because it's been raining since yesterday. San Francisco has had nearly three inches of rain today alone and there are more storms on the way.
Rain refreshes our hillsides and soon things will be green again. It also waters my garden for me and I am happy for the few days off from having to water. It brings a freshness to the air and makes it legitimate to want to snuggle under a warm blanket or two. This morning it was lovely to listen to the rhythm of the rain as Harriet nursed.
Of course a rainy day means a day inside for Sean and his class mates. I don't think they get to play outside when it is so wet. I'm sure that on the way home Sean will want to jump in a few puddles between school and the car and the car and home.
I took Harriet out to our balcony to watch the rain and she seemed to enjoy it. It was a nice break for her from the monotony of her bouncy chair. She liked watching the drops fall from the eves and to listen to the noise.