I'm reading A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book. It was a gift (Thanks, Nicole!) and so far, it's as terrific as all the reviewers say it is. A little (too) mannered, sure, but in for a dime, in for a dollar, you know? Every night I read a few pages and the images come back to me in the morning. It's a little like being inside a Masterpiece Theater miniseries before its been made. Early on in the book there's this passage:
"The children mingled with the adults, and spoke and were spoken to. Children in these families, at the end of the nineteenth century, were different from children before or after. They were neither dolls nor miniature adults. They were not hidden away in nurseries, but present at family meals, where their developing characters were taken seriously and rationally discussed, over supper or over long country walks. And yet, at the same time, the children in this world had their own separate, largely independent lives, as children. They roamed the woods and fields, built hiding-places and climbed trees, hunted, fished, rod ponies and bicycles, with no other company than that of other children."
Can I please go there where serial commas are masterfully employed and the lives of children and adults so beautifully balanced? Please?