6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2007
This book is a wise comment on love and fortune. The heroine Adelaide is selfwilled and from a priveliged background throws herself into a disastrous marriage - the image of the slum is almost indelible - but Adelaide's steel of character and ingenuity is unbroken. I have two favourite bits - one is a vivid, symbolic account of washing a young girl's hair, and the other is when she has found love again and in her old age has a gentle unspoken bond with the gentleman - a man who she never marries but who always treats her with the utmost courtesy, which kept her from cracking in the dark years. A book to give hope.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Started out brilliantly; following stubborn young Adelaide Culver and her elopement with her drawing master to live in the slums of Britannia Mews. The attempts by her well-to-do family to coax her home fail:
'Alice had in fact influenced her - though not in the direction intended. The commiseration in Alice's first manner (which Adelaide had so quickly removed) was a foretaste of the commiseration which lay in wait at Platt's End and Kensington; and sitting there in the beautifully clean tea-room, out of sight and smell of Britannia Mews, Adelaide felt she could more easily bear life with Henry than life in the family bosom...There was also the fact that on imposing on Alice a totally false picture of her marriage, Adelaide had also, for all practical purposes, imposed it on herself.'
After the first section, and its gripping climax, the story introduces new characters, and meanders on up to the Second World War. I found the book became a lot less interesting as it went on.