Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Parnassus on Wheels
Christopher Morley

This is a very fun book, told in the first person. It takes place around 1910. The protagonist is a woman, Miss Helen McGill, who is swiftly approaching her middle-age years. She has spent the best part of her life keeping house for her brother Andrew, a famous author. Her brother is wont to drop everything without notice and run off to research his next book, leaving Helen stuck at home taking charge of the farm, doing his chores and living a life that she herself admits is dull. 

When a reviewer calls her brother the "Sage of Redfield" and refers to Helen as a "rural Xanthippe",  Helen gets upset and decides to give Andrew a taste of his own medicine. Her opportunity arrives in the form of Roger Mifflin, proprietor of a travelling bookstore, which he calls his "Parnassus". He intends to sell it, wagon, stock and horse to Andrew, but Helen buys it herself and decides to go on the road to sell books and culture to all and sundry. This is the story of her adventures on the road and her growing relationship with Roger Mifflin. 

I have reread this book multiple times and it always draws a smile. This is a sweet romance involving two middle-aged, rather staid people. And there is no smut!

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