I know that it’s been a while (I had a beautiful baby boy about four months ago), but I wanted to dive in and share a recent read that would be good for book groups.
I have written a couple of times about Jane Gardam’s Old Filth. The last time I did this, Mary Ellen was good enough to add in the comments that a prequel/sequel of sorts was forthcoming. Well, now I have read it and can report back.
The Man in the Wooden Hat is another fine novel by Jane Gardam. It revisits the main characters from Old Filth, Sir Edward Feathers and his wife Betty. This time, though, we meet Edward and Betty in their youth–when they meet in Hong Kong and marry. But this is by no means a simple love story nor are Edward or Betty simple characters. There are also revelations here that will have you racing to reread both books.
While this would stand on its own, The Man in the Wooden Hat gains its real strength from its predecessor. But once again Gardam is suave, witty, wry and surprising. She writes with a firm tenderness about Edward and Betty; it’s obvious that these are two characters she was not finished with, that she had to return to again. I, for one, am glad that she did.