Taboo — Kim Scott (Picador in Australia, Small Beer Press in the USA). Luminous, unsettling, with a subtle approach to time. Stunning opening. If you’ve read The Mere Wife, I particularly recommend checking this out. (Not just if you’ve read The Mere Wife, obviously.)
The Lady Eve. (Not in a cinema, but as an arranged outing at least.) I do like old-fashioned screwball comedies (although I like them better at the caper-end of comedies of manners). This is charming but did not make nearly enough use of its snakes.
I am probably being unfair to late 19th/early 20th century children’s novels, because in my mind they are mostly very grim, with saintly children dying and melting the hearts of neighbouring curmudgeons. I’ve realised lately that while there is some truth to this, that seed was planted by sarcastic comments in the books of some of my favourite more recent writers. The older books I’ve read usually make the transgressions – while attended by awful consequences – look not-so-secretly like jolly good fun as well. By which you can deduce I had a hearty dose of E. Nesbit, L.M. Montgomery, Susan Coolidge and Ethel Turner, growing up. Not that the last two, at least, didn’t feature their share of tragedy, but at least everyone seemed to be having a good time up until that point.
And the best lessons were never that you couldn’t fly, but that you should take reasonable safety measures beforehand.