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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FOREIGN AFFAIRS by ALISON LURIE

Foreign Affairs



Two main characters both English professors both working in the same college back in the States but their paths do not cross or rather they cross very seldom in England as they are moving in very different circles. 

Vinnie is thought to be a plain Jane, long past the idea of romance and "sensible". Fred is known to turn heads as he is quite handsome. Both are on strict budgets and cash poor. Vinnie would not mind an affair with a suave Englishman but she finally falls in love with a brash, crude Western style cowboy (her words not mine!) while Fred falls for Rosemary, the most ethereal English beauty whose actual heart is made of stone and psychiatric to boot though that is only apparent at the tail end of the story.

For me the story was slow - and rather dull but midway it perked up and became very interesting. I liked how both main characters developed. I also liked the constant reference to the traits of the English and English touristy stuff even though most of it was referred to it with disdain by the Americans! How insular were the American visitors was more than apparent throughout the book!!! Whether this was part of the characterization of the people involved or whether it poked gentle fun at the Americans I dont know.  But it was quite humourous throughout.  Apart from the idea of romance which was present right through the book, the idea of human relationships whether friends, acquaintances or even being foreigners in an alien land were part of the story. The latter is particularly relevant because it is a feeling that a lot of people who travel overseas feel - a sense of belonging when one is all alone in a foreign country.

Altogether a lovely read. 





3 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I remember enjoying it overall but still rather mystified that it won the Pulitzer Prize. I often feel that way about award winning books though.

bermudaonion said...

I just don't have the patience to read a book that starts so slowly so I probably won't look for this one.

Noelle the dreamer said...

Now you have once more peaked my interest Mystica! On the list Friend!
Take care,