The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise

August 10, 2010 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

The British are coming, the Britsh are coming! Led by a phalanx of Beefeaters! I for one am crying “uncle” and laying down my arms – such is my complete capitulation to the charms of The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart.

Why am I begging you to read this book? If you’ve picked it up because of the irresistible cover, you might already know the plot (will our hero, Beefeater Balthazar Jones, who lives in the Tower of London, reclaim the affections of his wife, manage the Queen’s menagerie,  steer the “loathsome tourists” to the loos, all whilst defeating the forces of evil – ie., the ravens?).  I laughed – out loud – every dozen or so pages. Julia Stuart has a wonderfully understated and comic way with words; I defy any author to make better use of the word “japonicas” (page 242). This being a British novel, there is, of course, the obligatory male cross-dressing scene. Romance, illicit sex, ghosts, animals galore – there’s something for everyone. Yet Stuart also writes very believably about two parents who are grieving for the loss of their child – so sad, but folded gracefully into the novel.

If this all sounds too twee, I promise you it isn’t – Stuart has a light touch, a sure hand, and the literary chops to pull it off.  And just to make my favorite book even more enticing, for the next two weeks we will be donating 10% of the proceeds from each The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise sold to the SPCA of Connecticut – simply click here.  I urge you –call in sick due to a “surfeit of lampreys” (page 152) and enjoy.



Entry filed under: Book Recommendations, Fiction, Fun!. Tags: , , , .

Under & between the covers… Winging It

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