Monday, April 27, 2009

The Diary by Eileen Goudge

Eileen Goudge's novel, The Diary, is deceptive. It seems to be a very simple story, and suddenly the lead character, and the story, slaps the reader alongside the head.

The Diary opens with two grown daughters, Sarah and Emily, going through their mother's possessions, since she's in a nursing home following a stroke. They are surprised to find a diary, written before their mother, Elizabeth, married their father, Bob Marshall. But, they're shocked to find their mother wasn't so sure about her love for Bob, even though they had been dating for years. Just at the time their mother should have been announcing her engagement, she ran into an old schoolmate, AJ, at the fair. And, suddenly, the proper daughter of a respected mother, was torn between respectable Bob and AJ, the bad boy who had spent time in reform school.

Although the story reads like an old-fashioned book, set in 1951, the two sisters and readers might be a little surprised at Elizabeth's actions. And, Emily realizes that children never really know their parents. "All these years, I never thought of them as being anything other than our parents. But they had lives of their own apart from us."

Once again, Eileen Goudge has taken a traditional woman's novel, a love story, and turned it on its ear. Anytime I call my mother and say, you would like this book, it comes recommended. The Diary, a deceptive little book, was a pleasant surprise.

Eileen Goudge has two websites to go with this book. One is her website at The other directly relates to this book. It's

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The Diary by Eileen Goudge. Vanguard Press, ©2009. ISBN 9781593155438 (hardcover), 224p.


Scrap girl said...

I really like the sound of this book. I shall definitely add it to my TBR list.

SmallWorld at Home said...

This sounds good! I'm adding it to my TBR list, too.

Lesa said...

And, it's a book that won't take up too much time or space in your TBR piles. It's a quick read, with a twist. (smile)

Kay said...

I put this one on hold because it sounds like something I'd be in the mood for right now. I seem to be on a bit of a "women's fiction" kick. Thanks for the heads-up!

Lesa said...

I've been reading "women's fiction" as well. I just finished Jude Deveraux' Lavender Morning (really liked it), and I'm reading Elizabeth Berg's Home Safe right now.

Kay said...

I'm glad to hear that you liked Lavender Morning. I would like to read that one too. Jude Deveraux is a favorite from way back. I like her Summerhouse books and one of my favorite books ever was Knight in Shining Armor. Really a good time travel.

Lesa said...

The Summerhouse was the other Jude Deveraux book I read and enjoyed, Kay. I do have to read A Knight in Shining Armor someday. I hear nothing but raves about it.