Calories and carbs be damned! Tuesday was my sixty-third birthday, and for the first time this year, we went to my favorite ice cream stand—Fielder’s Choice, where I got a hot fudge sundae made with their fabulous peanut butter ice cream. So, so good!
On a less caloric but still delicious note, Clif has come up with an omelet that uses four simple ingredients—eggs, water, crumbles, and sriracha sauce.
This morning, Clif made me one for breakfast. How tasty and satisfying it was.
This year, my birthday was a little on the quiet side. Usually the kids come from New York and North Carolina, and we have a jolly celebration as we combine three birthdays—mine and Clif’s, both in September, and Dee’s, which is the end of October.
This year, of course, there was no jolly celebration with the kids. And, yes, I missed it very much. We’ll be having a Zoom party on Sunday, but it’s not the same as having everyone at our cozy home in the woods.
Therefore, on my birthday, I gave myself the gift of time, something I rarely do. The day was fine, and instead of doing household chores in the afternoon, I allowed myself to take time out for reading.
Mike, my son-in-law, had recommended Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and relaxing on the patio, I read several chapters of this book.
What a snappy, excellent novel! As the title suggests, this is a Gothic story story set in Mexico in the 1950s. Noémi, the spunky heroine, must travel to the hinterlands of Mexico, to find out why her cousin Catalina, recently married, has sent Noémi and her father a desperate letter begging for help. Off Noémi goes, somewhat reluctantly, from Mexican City to an old, shabby mansion high in the mountains.
Catalina’s husband, Virgil, and his family are satisfyingly creepy, and it isn’t long before Noémi is determined to rescue her cousin. From what, I will not say. I don’t want to spoil the story. I will, however, add that Moreno-Garcia manages to weave in class and race in a satisfying way while never detracting from the vividness of the various characters, especially Noémi, the determined star of the novel. I always admire a heroine who can run in high heels, something I could never do.
While this is a horror novel that builds to an exciting conclusion, Moreno-Garcia allows her characters space to breathe, something I think is essential for any novel, regardless of genre. For me, a story with relentless action is tedious, and the characters are usually flat.
Moreno-Garcia is a young writer with a good writing style and a keen sense of who her characters are. I definitely will be keeping an eye out for her next book.
And click here to read about Thistles and Kiwis small pleasures.