You Should Read This: Miss Mole by E.H. Young

The cover for Miss Mole, by E.H. Young, recommended fiction.

From the introduction by Sally Beauman: "This is, at first sight, a very odd book: it has an exceedingly odd, indeed unlikely, heroine, the eponymous Miss Mole, and an exceedingly odd style."

There are some books I go back to over and over again, and this is one of them, because I love the main character so much. Hannah Mole is engaging, delightful, and incredibly sympathetic. I originally found this book because it was a Virago Modern Classic (I found a TON of great reading through Virago, many of which will appear in weeks, months, and hopefully years to come), and it is, unfortunately, out of print nowadays. I sincerely hope it’s reissued sometime.

What: Miss Mole is a novel that won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1930. It is set in Radstowe and is, in many ways, a small town novel of manners.

Who: Read this if you love absorbing fiction that deals with small things: not wars or aliens or other monumental matters, but rather cases of crewel yarn gone astray or a pilfered mattress. Read this for characters that come alive and are exemplary of characters who are lovable while still shown with all their flaws.

When: Read this when you want an engrossing read, but also when you want to see the interior life and thoughts of a character conveyed in the most engaging way possible.

Why: Read it because Miss Mole is a heroine outside the norm, because she doesn’t care (or does she) what society says, and because she faces the consequences of past actions with bravery and good spirits.

Where and how: Read this on a rainy day, when you want a love story that is gentle and understated, on a day when you hear the characters’ murmuring in the sound of the falling rain.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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