For the last ten years, I have kept a list of each book that I have read, mostly because I find lists pleasing and also because I like to remember when I have read a particular book. I often re-read books at specific times in the year and knowing when I’ve read a story before helps me to provide some context for the different pleasures I find in the world of familiar books.
And make no mistake about it —— books are one of my greatest joys in life. Over the years, books I have read and the characters in those stories provide companionship and comfort; context and advice. They are a big part of the person I’ve become as well as the person I want to be.
For 2016, at the end of each month, I plan to post a review of one of the books I have read in the month. Most will be new books, some will be old favorites. This month’s book is Celia’s House, written by D.E. Stevenson, an English author from the mid-20th century. I have most of Stevenson’s books and love them all. Celia’s House was first written and published in 1943. It’s the story of a rambling old house in Scotland and the family that lives there.
Unfailingly, Stevenson’s novels are happy stories filled with charming, regular people. Celia’s House is in that tradition. The novel begins with a detailed description of a home in Scotland as elderly Aunt Celia contemplates how much she loves the landscape of her family home. Upon her death, she leaves the beloved home to her great-nephew Humphrey on the condition that he raise his family there and ultimately leave the house to his own Celia, a daughter yet-to-be born.
Humphrey follows instructions and the novel unfolds over the next 30 years as another generation of family grows up and loves the home just as Aunt Celia did. I like my novels to have happy endings and all of Stevenson’s novels fill that requirement. Along the way, they are filled with quirky, cheerful, regular people; enjoyable reads every time. This one was no exception; a happy read that reminded me of the power of home.