Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blue-Bird Weather  -  1912
Robert W. Chambers
152 pages
genre  - Romance
my rating  -  4 out of 5 stars

John Marche's doctor has told him that he better "go somewhere for a rest or ultimately be carried, kicking, into...the 'funny house'."

So John heads to the Foam Island Duck Club for some down time, and maybe get in a little duck hunting.  It is an 11-year-old boy by the name of Jim that picks John up from the railroad station and drives him out to the clubhouse in a rickety wagon.  And it's Jim's older sister, Molly, that is the cook and housekeeper for the lodge. 

Molly also volunteers to act as John's bayman.  And that means they spend lots of time together in the duck blind waiting for the waterfowl to show up. 

But it's very odd that John never sees their father, who is the manager of the clubhouse, while he is there.  And why does the handwriting in Jim's school book have "a vague sensation of familiarity" about it?

I especially enjoy books where the author takes the time to use lots of adjectives.  This book is a good example of that practice.  For example, here is a description of John's first meal at the clubhouse:  "she...placed before him...his steaming soup, a platter of fried bass and smoking sweet potatoes, then the inevitable broiled canvas-back duck with rice, and finally home-made preserves - wild grapes, exquisitely fragrant in their thin, golden syrup."

About the author  - 

Robert William Chambers was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 26, 1865 to William P. Chambers, a famous lawyer, and Caroline Boughton Chambers, a direct descendant of Roger Williams, the founder of Providence, Rhode Island.

Robert was first educated at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute,and then entered the Art Students' League at around the age of twenty.  Chambers studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, and at Académie Julian, in Paris from 1886 to 1893.  On his return to New York, he succeeded in selling his illustrations to Life, Truth, and Vogue magazines.

Then, for reasons unclear, Chambers devoted his time to writing. His most famous, and perhaps most meritorious, effort is The King in Yellow, a collection of short stories published in 1895.

On July 12, 1898, he married Elsa Vaughn Moller. They had a son, Robert Edward Stuart Chambers.

Chambers died on December 16, 1933 after having undergone intestinal surgery three days earlier.

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