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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review - Marghanita Laski's To bed with Grand Music

I was going to keep this post for a day or two to re-think what I actually thought of this book. I was a bit - whats the word - perturbed maybe by this book. I have had it on my TBR for ages. Its a classic which has been recommended throughout the book blogging world and when Simon of Savidge Reads recommends I always note it!

The book depicts life in wartime England which in itself is not unusual but this book is definitely different. It shows a more humane side to life (wartime or anytime) where a young, vibrant wife goes from a normal marriage to flitting from one bed to another, handed over like a pass the parcel as it were from one man to another. This actually happens because when one man for whatever reason it may be has to leave England, he actually introduces her to another man who takes over Deborah as his mistress. Deborah also justifies this at every turn with various reasons of her own - some so so and some ridiculous, but she does go through the two years since her husband Graham left in this manner.

Described in one instance as "a harlots tale", I thought that was rather harsh. In similar circumstances encompassed by loneliness, frustration, sexual needs and youth - we could I suppose all act like Deborah. Everyone does not stay on the straight and narrow path.

I liked the book very, very much and am so glad I took the trouble to get this one. It shows life in a completely different angle - not the usual self sacrificing one which I have read about so much during wartime particularly. I myself have lived through a civil war for over 2 decades in my own country and know how very much this story would be replicated in homes in different degrees - war does change everything. Nothing is ever the same as before - and if we say or try to make it appear that it is identical to what it was, we are hoodwinking ourselves.

This Laski book is a must read for everyone whatever the genre you fancy, this book will have something for all. I got this book from my Carnegie library but this is an author I would like to have permanently on my shelf at home.


  1. Hello!

    I was on Katrina's site and I noticed your entry. I would love to send you "A Widow's Season" if you are interested. I won it from her a few months ago and would love to pass it on.

    If you would like, please let me know of your address at kufishy(at)gmail(dot)com

    Gotta run...3 kids of my own (and a hubby) calling!

    ;) amy

  2. Great review, Mystica! I discovered this author via Persephone books but have only read one of her books. Must read more! :)