For March Tea and a Book I am recommending two titles by English writer Ruby Ferguson (1899-1966).
Like the authors previously featured this year, Ferguson published her novels in the middle of the 20th century (active from 1926 to 1965). In addition, she wrote several mystery titles under the name R.C. Ashby.
I adored LADY ROSE AND MRS. MEMMARY. It’s well worth your time to read the introduction of the Persephone edition– Candia McWilliam, a brilliant novelist in her own right, is very passionate about this story. If her intro doesn’t set your brain on fire—like it did mine—maybe don’t bother to continue. The novel starts like a fairy tale about a very fortunate and imaginative child living during the reign of Queen Victoria. This child happens to be a girl, however, and is expected to follow a narrow path toward adulthood. For such a quiet novel, there is a lot of pain and struggle. I could not put the book down, and I had a very cathartic cry at the end.
Following this I read APRICOT SKY, which was more of a family drama/frolic with childish adventures and adult romantic yearning, all culminating in a wedding. You’ll find quirky characters, entertaining perspectives, a few pining hearts, and plenty of emotional (and some physical) drama. Just good fun all around, without the lingering ache I felt (and appreciated) while reading LADY ROSE.
And now for tea! I enthusiastically recommend Brodie’s Scottish Afternoon, “a cheering and reviving blend of black teas from Kenya and India,” and you can’t go wrong pairing it with Shortbread House of Edinburgh’s Chocolate Chip Shortbread Fingers. A superb afternoon treat to pair with a good Scottish tale!
[Cross-posted from Instagram]