The story from the perspective of young feisty Emma married to another egocentric actor David with two children under the age of two sets the tone of the story.
Both Emma and David centred in their own worlds, selfish to other people's needs only see the world from the angle they want. They both only see it from their own needs, ambitions and desires. Despite being one of a kind both Emma and David clash - both being selfish each only considers the needs of themselves and not the other - though Emma mostly goes along with what David wants at the end. Even their respective dips into adultery seem almost as if it was without thinking of consequences, almost like a picnic or a trip to a shopping mall!
In 1964 when this book was published Emma like most young women of the time were just beginning to find their independent wings. They were an educated, articulate, bright generation who were also beginning to realize that married life, domesticity and children also brought with it its attendant responsibilities and ties (which would not allow them to fly the way they really wanted to). They wanted the best of both worlds and when they found it lacking - that was when the gaps began to appear as they did in Emma's case. David is able to shrug everything off very easily and comes across as being very slick. One does get annoyed with Emma, particularly being an intelligent young woman, that she could resignedly accept David's shortcomings without a murmur.
Though a very small book just 172 pages this was not an easy read for me. I felt it was a bit dated in its outlook but then one must look beyond that to the way it was at the time and this was what made me doggedly pursue it to the end.
I have not heard of this Drabble book. I do have Seven Sisters, but would like to get a copy of this one. Nice review.ReplyDelete