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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Wondrous Words Wednesday …. June 1st 2011


My words this week are from a book which I have just finished reading, an emotional and thought provoking book, that found me examining my own life more closely.

As usual, there will be no spoilers from the book, save the lines which actually contain my mystery words, but if you click on the image, Amazon will let you take a peek at the full synopsis.

‘The Other Side Of You’ by Salley Vickers

Click The Image To Sneak Peek The Synopsis


Page 26: ‘It bothered me that she was able to alter the atmosphere with one brief phrase, or word, and that in my domestic life I had fallen into a more or less permanently propitiatory position.’

Propitiatory: – The adjective of the noun propitiate, to win or regain the favour of; to appease.

Page 72: ‘Perhaps it was as well for Hannan that the unreasonable doesn’t make convincing testimony in court. Nor is it yet a recognised Prophylactic procedure.

Prophylactic: – A preventive measure. The word comes from the Greek for “an advance guard,” an apt term for a measure taken to fend off a disease or another unwanted consequence. A prophylactic is a medication or a treatment designed and used to prevent a disease from occurring.

Page 111 : ‘From the lone flower seller they bought yellow roses ad laid them at the base of the dark-cowled effigy, in memory of the burned man; and close by was a congenial-looking osteria, where they ate lamb cooked with artichokes, and strawberries steeped in white wine.’

Osteria: – An Osteria (Italian pronunciation: ) in Italian literally means a place where the owner “hosts” people, is an Italian-style eating establishment, similar to a tavern, usually in the country, less formal than a ristorante or trattoria, where wine is served as the main attraction.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  It is hosted by Kathy, over at BermudaOnion’s Weblog. You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered.


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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • I just discovered Sally Vickers, though I haven’t had a chance to read any of her books yet. I knew the first two but I hadn’t heard Osteria before. I think I would enjoy visiting one but that could just because my daughter is in Italy right now and I’d love to be there with her.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It’s wonderful to get to know you. I look forward to reading more.

    • Hi Martha,

      It’s good to ‘meet’ you also. There are just so many memes out there, that I just can’t get around to them all, but they are certainly a great way to get to know people.

      I have never visited Italy, although my husband has and I would love to go just to visit some of the lovely galleries and museums. The idea of whiling away a lazy Summer’s afternoon in an Osteria, also sounds good to me, especially if plenty of ice cold white wine is involved!!

      Salley Vickers is a new author to me as well and I found this book quite thought provoking and deep. Other bloggers who already know her work, seem universal in their recommendation of ‘Miss Garnet’s Angel’, so I shall be on the lookout for that one.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I get the drift of your comment, but have to say it was not a word I had come across before and not one that seems to be being used in quite the same way in the sentence from my book. The English language is certainly a strange beast!!!

  • I knew too prophylactic , because it’s the same word in French (prophylactique), but not propitiatory, which seems difficult to pronounce ! Thanks to you !

    • Hello Annie,

      Some of the English words are ridiculously difficult to pronounce, aren’t they?

      I have to say, that ‘propitiatory’ isn’t a word that I have come across before, but it definitely fits the feeling of the storyline quite well.

      When I have the time, I will try reading some of your blog in it’s native French, just to see how much of my school day French vocabulary I can remember and who knows, I might even try a response in French, but only if you promise not to laugh too much!!

  • I’d just like to add that “osterie” usually have a set of regulars who will spend the whole afternoon there and eye suspiciously any outsider. It adds to the charm 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Scribacchina,

      Thanks for stopping by today and adding your valued comments to the discussion, it’s good to ‘meet’ you.

      When I read your comment, I was minded of a holiday that we took many years ago, in the former Yugoslavia, right up on the Italian border. We took a trip across the border into Italy and I can still remember the ferocious stares of the locals, when we stopped for coffee in the small Piazza. I wonder if by chance we had encountered an ‘Osterie’ without even realising it?!

    • Hi Louise,

      A bit late for an Osteria for me. 11pm and it’s time for bed, as I am up before 5am tomorrow!

      I must be the only person who doesn’t know ‘prophylactic’, I obviously just don’t get sick enough to know about it, touch wood!!!

  • All of your words are lovely but I’m caught up with the first sentence. It leaves such a nice impression of the book – I hope it does at least. I like the idea of a phrase or word spoken by a character that can change the atmosphere. I need to explore this author.

    • Hi Margot,

      The book isn’t so much ‘nice’, as ‘touching’, in my opinion.

      The first lines certainly set the tone of the story, however one phrase in the book does change the atmosphere dramatically and opens up the dialogue into something truly moving.

      The book has received some quite mixed reviews, but fellow bloggers seem to rate the storyline and writing style highly, as I did myself.

      This is certainly an author that you should check out if you are looking for a more intense and thoughtful read that will totally engross you.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for stopping by, it is nice to ‘meet’ you.

      This is where the English language comes into it’s own for stupidity, isn’t it? One single word with several different meanings; even worse one single word, several different meanings and several different ways to spell it!!!

      I am always totally amazed that it is the chosen universal language that everyone chooses to learn.

    • Hi Julie,

      The book was great, finished now, and the review is in the pipeline.

      I particularly enjoy this meme, as I quite often come across words that I need to look up, just to double check a meaning, so it’s good to know that others have the same issues from time to time, and it’s fun to share this new-found knowledge.

Written by Yvonne