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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Private Enterprise by Angela Thirkell

Set in fictional Barsetshire Angela Thirkell brings out a set of characters and a way of life which seems idyllic. Whether it was actually so I wouldn't know but I'd certainly like to believe that it was so.

We have a young widow Peggy - pretty but not wanting to cling to anyone. She attracts all the young and not so young men of the neighbourhood with no effort at all. There is also a sister in law who lives with her the Miss. Arbuthnot - strong, slightly masculine and independent. The two get on well together. 

How the two women settle down in this small village and the workings and machinations of a small village  brought very much to life in this book. The facts of how hard life was for a class of people used to umpteen number of servants, the food rationing which was a major topic of conversation, how did one make do with what one had, again the change in social norms for women particularly in this period all highlighted in this book.

If one has read about this subject (like what happened to me) as I have been reading pre and post WW1 and WW11 era books, you can see the somewhat sameness of the subjects but if you are coming to it for the first time, Thirkell is a good author to go ramble about!

I still enjoyed the quiet pace of the book and also enjoyed the happy ending!

Tomorrow we go into a two day holiday celebrating Vesak - the birth, death and enlightenment of Lord Buddha. All Buddhist homes are decorated with lights, flags and lanterns. A very pretty sight even in the suburbs.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Lives like that always seem ideal in books but probably aren't if you live them.

Your celebration sounds lovely!