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Mona of the Manor: A Novel (Tales of the…

Mona of the Manor: A Novel (Tales of the City, 10) (vuoden 2024 painos)

Tekijä: Armistead Maupin (Tekijä)

Sarjat: Tales of the City (10)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1003277,052 (3.93)12
"The long-awaited tenth novel in Maupin's beloved and bestselling Tales of the City series, Mona of the Manor follows the adventures of Mona Ramsey--now the widowed Lady of a glorious old manor in the Cotswolds--and her fabulous butler-slash-adopted-son Wilfred, as they work to help an American visitor who has gotten herself in trouble"--… (lisätietoja)
Teoksen nimi:Mona of the Manor: A Novel (Tales of the City, 10)
Kirjailijat:Armistead Maupin (Tekijä)
Info:Harper (2024), 256 pages
Kokoelmat:Aion lukea
Arvio (tähdet):


Mona of the Manor (tekijä: Armistead Maupin)


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näyttää 3/3
A lovely visit with old friends ( )
  rlsalvati | Jul 2, 2024 |
Armistead Maupin has got to the logical end of the Tales of the City series and stopped several times before, but his readers — or his publishers — have never let him get away with abandoning Anna Madrigal and the wonderful people who rented rooms in her house on Barbary Lane back in the seventies. Understandable when we had so much fun with those characters in the first few books, but perhaps we really ought to let Maupin move on to something else after nearly fifty years…

In real time the original characters would now all be far too old to have the sort of interesting comic adventures we look for in a Maupin story. Since the younger generation he introduced in the last couple of books are fine for Netflix but a bit out of the range of interest of Maupin and the boomers who actually buy his books, he has now resorted to breaking the sequence and setting this latest instalment thirty years ago, ten years after the events of Babycakes, with Mona and her adopted son Wilfred running a stately home in the Cotswolds. Mona is dallying with Poppy the sub-postmistress, and there’s a vaguely Hitchcockian plot (with shades of Wicker Man) involving some paying guests from North Carolina.

AIDS, Maupin’s old boss Jesse Helms, Thatcher and Clause 28 are still dominant themes (the actual Prime Minister, John Major, doesn’t rate a mention), but the Tories of the 1990s are sometimes clearly just stand-ins for the Tories of the 2020s, and there is a significant sidestep into the very 2020s theme of transphobia, a topic that has never crossed anyone’s mind before in nine books with a main character who is a trans woman.

Obviously, as an American — and worse, as an American now settled in London — writing about Britain, Maupin lays himself open to British readers crowing “Ha-ha!, that’s not how Britain works,” but he’s no Elizabeth George, he has obviously got his British friends to proof-read the manuscript and taken note of their comments, so there are only minor and very unimportant deviations from British reality (e.g. Mona going to the Post Office to collect her mail). He may well have left those in deliberately to tease us.

Of course, it’s nice to meet Mona again — I always felt Maupin pushed her off into the background too quickly in the early books — and to see walk-ons from some of the other core characters, but the plot doesn’t feel as well-engineered as usual, and the dialogue lacks the comic bite of Maupin’s best writing. If you’re already a Maupin fan, you will have bought this book anyway, but if you haven’t met him yet, go and read the early stuff, not this. It doesn’t do him justice. ( )
  thorold | Jun 15, 2024 |
I was in high school when the first Tales of the City was released as a serial in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1976. My little crowd of misfits, who may or may have not known we would grow up to be the people we are, would gather in the locker area before classes started to discuss each day's installment. Regardless of how we identified at the time, having that story and the individuals who peopled it, gave us a sense that not only was it OK that we were who we were—whatever that was— but also that, dammit, we were kind of interesting. Maybe even marginally hip.

The central character of Mona of the Manor is, no surprise, Mona, a noncomformist, potty-mouthed lesbian who, via a brokered marriage with a Lord who longed to move to San Francisco, has become Lady of a manor. The manor is huge and crumbling, but not so crumbling that emergency evacuations need to be ordered. Mona offers a small B and B service and has generally had enough guests to allow her to manage the kind of bills that can crop up in a home originally built 400+ years ago. Some weekenders = a new water heater. A honeymoon = one more round of patching on the roof. Running the manor with Mona is her adopted son, Wilfred, who grew up in Britain, but is of aboriginal heritage. (For more of Wilfred's story, see Babycakes, the fourth volume in the series.) He's been looking for love, but it's hard going in the countryside where most of the gay men are halves of happy, retired couples.

Maupin is never shy about taking on issues in this series. In Mona of the Manor, Mona and Wilfred share the process of grieving friends who are dying of AIDS, get involved in scheming to protect a woman in a violent marriage, and plan a major Pagan summer solstice party. And more.

You can enter the Tales of the City series anywhere, and Mona of the Manor could be a good place to start since it moves back in time to the middle period of the series, so new readers can pick up a bit of background. To be honest, though, I would suggest reading the full series in order. I can absolutely assure you that time invested in Tales of the City is time very well spent. Oh hell, just ead whichever ones you can get your hands on—stat!

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss; the opinions are my own. ( )
  Sarah-Hope | Jan 14, 2024 |
näyttää 3/3
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"The long-awaited tenth novel in Maupin's beloved and bestselling Tales of the City series, Mona of the Manor follows the adventures of Mona Ramsey--now the widowed Lady of a glorious old manor in the Cotswolds--and her fabulous butler-slash-adopted-son Wilfred, as they work to help an American visitor who has gotten herself in trouble"--

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