You Mean, Aside from World War II?

The quote of the day, from reviewer “Shomeret,”commenting on Jacqueline Winspear’s Birds of a Feather on Goodreads (April  2012):

“Until recently I thought that World War I lacked any enduring significance.”


The reviewer is/was studying library science and has a book review blog.  I gave her credit for the “until recently” part of the sentence, which would seem to imply a change of heart.  Maybe she read some good history books, I thought.  But no.  She apparently changed her mind because “. . . . some of the most interesting historical fictions I’ve been reading this year take place during that period.”

She changed her mind because of works of HISTORICAL FICTION?!  Well, I guess it’s better than nothing.

Hey, Shomeret!  Ever heard of (among other things) the crippling reparations the Allies demanded of Germany after WWI, Hitler’s rise to power, the complete change in how wars were fought in the aftermath of the Great War, and a small event called WWII?

Of no enduring significance.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

BTW, I found Birds of a Feather tedious, and as others have noted, Winspear did not adhere to one of the cardinal rules of good mysteries: All clues, however obscure, must be available to the reader.  Sheesh.


NaNoWriMo 2010, Day 11, Word Count: 18,845

The Kid threw a tantrum tonight.  True, it was nothing like the hours-long kicking and screaming sort of tantrum she used to throw when she was a tot, but it was a teenage equivalent.  She fumed, she mewled, she huffed and puffed — and if she could have squawked, she would have.  Finally, she stomped upstairs, and just like when she was a toddler, fell asleep.  It was an interesting sight.

If I sound unsympathetic, it is because I am.  Not because I don’t understand why she was mad and frustrated — I do — but because I think tantrums a waste of time.  DH thinks I am jealous because I didn’t get to throw tantrums when I was a kid; perhaps there is a hint of truth in that.  I do in fact know how to throw a tantrum, I just choose not to.  It is a deliberate, on-demand act of emotional histrionics, and it is just plain silly.  And on this day of all days, it is an extravagant indulgence: The Kid has it too good to even think about raging against her lot in life.

Does It Matter? by Siegfried Sassoon, 1917

Does it matter? – losing your legs?
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs.
Does it matter? – losing your sight?
There’s such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.
Do they matter – those dreams in the pit?
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won’t say that you’re mad;
For they know that you’ve fought for your country,
And no one will worry a bit.