The book closet: Delilah's pants and shirt for the African frontier December 5, 2013 22:37
I'm taking this opportunity to tout Deanna Raybourn's A Spear of Summer Grass. The heroine, Delilah, has been banished to Africa by her family after being the star of yet another scandal. Delilah attracts scandal like steak attracts dogs. She shows up with trunks of Paris frocks, but finds slacks and one of her dead husbands' shirts to be more suited to the lifestyle. I think Vogue 7496, 1950s pattern for Frontier Pants, and Excella 4235, a 1920s pajama top, would be most fetching, and most definitely attract the flapper's independent spirit.
To lure you into buying the book, I'll whet your appetite with a bit of Ms. Raybourn's descriptive prose:
But the best hands were knowing hands, Mossy told me with a slow smile. Knowing hands were capable; they could soothe a horse or a woman. They could take things apart– including
your heart - and put them back together better than before. Knowing hands were rare, but if you found them, they were worth holding, at least for a little while. I looked at Ryder's hands. They sat easily on the wheel and gearshift, coaxing instead of forcing, and I wondered how much they knew.
They had known pain; that much was certain from the scars that laced his left arm. He had been lucky. Whatever had dug itself into his arm hadn't wanted to let go. They were long, raking white scars, like punctuation marks, dotted here and there with a full stop of knotted white scar tissue where whatever it was had hung on hard. Some men might have covered them up, rolled down their shirtsleeves and pretended it never happened. Others would have told the story as soon as you met, flaunting those scars for any Desdemona who might be impressed. But Ryder didn't even seem conscious of his. He wore them as he did his bracelets – souvenirs of somewhere he had been.
Both patterns are available at The Blue Gardenia. And you can buy both at our end-of-an-era sale. The sooner you shop, the better the selection. Prices go back to normal January 1, when we debut our brand spanking new site.