In Which We Get to Know Dara

This post was written by Dara.

manzanillaHappy Friday everyone!

I have loved getting to know all of you through this read-along and I am so sad that it is nearly over.  Maybe we can do a non-Pink read along of the stand-alone novels.  (A girl can hope, right?) I don’t know how I will follow all of the terrific moderators we have had so far, but I will try.

A bit about myself- I was a journalism and English major in undergrad and am now working and going to grad school for my Master’s in communication, so I totally know how Eloise feels in her hours and hours in the library looking for source material, and I particularly identify with her teaching partner in this book.  I have been a fan of Lauren (and the Pinks) since I stumbled upon The Secret History of the Pink Carnation in the book store, stayed up all night reading it and immediately went and ordered Black Tulip and Emerald Ring on Amazon.  I have been painfully waiting for each installment ever since.

I’m going to show my English major here, but one of the things I love most about Lauren’s writing, Pink and non-Pink, is the layers of wit that she so carefully crafts. I have found so many new, wonderful little nuggets on these re-reads (and this is by no means the first time I have re-read most of the books). Lauren makes the most brilliant references to literature, historical figures and modern culture, and she weaves them into her prose so well that sometimes I don’t even notice them among all the other tongue and cheek humor in her writing. Some of my favorite bits of humor are the modern, anachronistic references in the historical sections, like somewhere in Black Tulip (I think), Miles says “No one can get linen as fresh as Downey” (referring to his valet of course) and in one of the books there is a reference to Dooney and Burke. It is amazing to me that she can maintain this kind of humor while writing in two very different voices/tones: her modern, “Eloise” narrative voice and the historical voice. Both are totally appropriate for the time period, and totally different sounding, but they have the same wonderful level of wit and detail.

What is your favorite thing about Lauren’s writing and the world she has built for the Pink books?

8 thoughts on “In Which We Get to Know Dara

  1. Hi, Dara! Yes, a stand-alone read along would be excellent! I really enjoyed the Facebook read-along for That Summer. I think it is great that you are showing your English major!

    One of the things I love about Lauren’s writing is that I know there are probably references to literature and historical figures that I am missing, but it doesn’t matter because there are still so many that I do catch that delight me, if that makes sense. You said it already; her writing is so layered and witty and smart, but never stuffy or pretentious. Her Pink books are so delightful to read because they just flow. Lauren is clearly smart and educated, yet her books don’t feel weighted down. I run across words that, frankly, I am not familiar with, but it does not matter. I laugh, I cry, I cheer, and I have the best time in these books.

    Another thing I love is that she has created a world that is real with characters I know and love. That probably sounds silly, because that is the goal all authors. There is something special about what Lauren has done with the Pinks. I can’t define it.

    • Paige- I find words I don’t know either. Lauren is one smart lady, but you are so right- she never talks down to her audience. I love how down to Earth and real her writing is!

  2. Ditto on another read-along – it’s so much fun!

    Your comments on the humor, literature, art, and pop culture links are right on, and something that has kept me a fan. “Layers” is a great word to use to describe Lauren’s writing. There is so much there to uncover that a person no doubt never catches all of it. And even if you don’t, that’s okay because everything is so enjoyable. From plotline to character development to use of every literary figure of speech imaginable, it is all there in these books. Historical references are thorough, lending many teachable moments. The Pink books have taken us from England to France to Ireland and India, with even references to Scotland and America. I am amazed at how Lauren’s mind works to put it altogether and weave a modern story at the same time with such ease of flow. I am reminded of Walt Disney and his ability to create movies enjoyable to both children and adults, reaching both on their own level – they have something for everyone. Rewatching one as an adult gives you a whole new perspective. In the same way, the Pink books appeal to so many people.

    On this rereading experience, I have picked up so many things I missed the first time around when anxious to get through the book to see how the story would turn out. Thanks to Ashley for this tremendous idea and keeping it interesting along the way. Thanks to all the moderators whom I have enjoyed and learned from. Thanks to Lauren for being there each month to answer questions from her fans. Thanks to Miss Eliza for her monthly dream casting posts and creating the wonderful Pink mugs. Thanks to all of the guest posters and those who have taken the time to respond in whatever way. I feel I have gotten to know so many people during this experience and am also sorry to see it come to an end. Hope I haven’t left anyone out. It has been an amazing journey.

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