Thursday, the 11th of November, and while I missed posting my Shelf Control post for the week yesterday, I’m going ahead and putting it up today! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

This week’s pick is the second of the Little Ottleys books by Ada Leverson, Tenterhooks. In the first, Love’s Shadow (1908), we meet a group of young, and not-so-young things in Edwardian London, each of whom falls for someone who is in love with another. At the centre of Love’s Shadow is Hyacinth Verney, a society beauty, in love with Cecil Reeve who is in love with the charming Mrs Raymond, who doesn’t return his affections. Amongst this group we also meet our central character (in the series), Edith Ottley, married to the pompous and buffoonish hypochondriac (always ill except when he finds something to interest him), Bruce who provides much of the humour in the story. The book was a delight to read and I loved how Leverson kept the tone light and fun even though some of the themes she goes into were quite serious.

In Tenterhooks (1912), Bruce makes the acquaintance of the Mitchells who throw parties which are ‘enormous fun’. Here Edith and Bruce meet Aylmer Ross, a handsome widowed barrister who falls in love with Edith. But while Edith is loyal to Bruce and does not pursue things with Aylmer, she finds Bruce hasn’t been quite so faithful. How does Edith bring things back to ‘normal’?

After having read Love’s Shadow which I thought delightful, I was really keen to read the rest of the series, and downloaded the books almost immediately. But of course, I didn’t quite end up picking this one up as soon as I had meant to (Goodreads tells me I read Love’s Shadow back in 2017). Reading the description of this one, it comes across as far more serious in tone and theme than the first one. (I find confirmation of this in Liz’s review of the books here); however, since in the first book, Leverson did manage to keep the tone light and include plenty of humour (in this one it seems, the humour comes from Edith and Bruce’s children Archie and Dilly), I think this would make for an enjoyable read as well. I’m looking forward to catching up with this series soon, and since it’s been a while since I read the first book, it will give me an excuse to revisit Love’s Shadow as well, which should be good fun.

Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Lisa’s pick this week is The River by Peter Heller, the story of two friends on a wilderness canoe trip.

4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #159: Tenterhooks by Ada Leverson

    1. šŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to reading this–I think this time around I’ll try and read the lot together. My overall impression from your review was that the third book gets back the lighter tones of the first.

      Liked by 1 person

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