what my mother reads

I never read anything by Robertson Davies because my mother reads him. How is that for snobbery? No, really, my mother does like him and as we don't share many literary tastes, I never bothered to read any of his stuff. I was that sure I wouldn't like him. But last year, when I started exploring contemporary Canadian Lit in more depth, I realized that I could no longer pass him by. I have now read a couple of his books, the latest being A Mixture of Frailties, which is the final book in The Salterton Trilogy.

One of the things I enjoy about Davies is that the books in his trilogies are linked, but not inextricably intertwined. It is possible, and even enjoyable, to read the books out of sequence or singly. I have not read either of the first two books in this series, and although I intend to, I will take my time about it.

His characters are also a source of pleasure. Within a few masterfully crafted sentences, Davies creates complex personalities. And these are not only true to themselves, but also interact realistically with others. He has a profound understanding of human psychology, and uses it with proficiency. And his plots. Well, they are always complicated, convincing, and extremely funny.

Needless to say, I'll be looking at my mother's bookshelf with much more care in the future.

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