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Consequences Paperback – 22 Mar 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd; New edition edition (22 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903155029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903155028
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 869,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Simon Thomas VINE VOICE on 23 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
EM Delafield is best known for her excellent Diary of a Provincial Lady and the rest of the series - but this book, one of her earlier ones, shows that Delafield can write deeply moving books as well as hilarious ones. Alex is a perfectly rounded character, one who the reader can understand, whilst also understanding why her family can't deal properly with her. She joins a convent as a punishment, and Delafield's own experience as a nun shape her narrative with wonderful insight.
Every character in this book is well drawn - there are no stereotypes included only to further the plot. The motivations of each, especially her sister and brother later in the novel, are believably extracted, and the ending leaves one gasping at the sheer brilliance and captivation of what has preceded it.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lynette Baines VINE VOICE on 1 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
E M Delafield is best known for her Provincial lady series, light, amusing books about an Englishwoman's life between the wars. Consequences is the story of Alex Clare, an awkward, emotional child who grows up into a young woman who doesn't fit in anywhere, and is continually made aware of her failure. Alex is suppressed by almost everyone in her life, her nanny, her parents and siblings, her schoolfriends and the nuns at the convent where she eventually retreats until she realises that the convent is just another mistake. Alex doesn't fit in, and I think everyone can empathise with her at some level. She can't understand why she doesn't belong, and no-one she meets has the ability or the desire to help her. I hope I haven't made the novel sound too bleak, although Alex's unrelenting ability to do and say the wrong thing in almost every situation becomes quite distressing. Delafield writes with a passionate anger about the limited education and prospects for girls in the late Victorian period, and I was ultimately moved by Alex's fate. Persephone are to be congratulated for rescuing yet another lost classic from oblivion. I'd love to read more of Delafield's fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By beccalikesbooks on 24 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
This novel is a searingly honest insight into a girl's life in Victorian England, where if you fail to find a husband after a season or two you are assigned to the shelf, to live out your years as a `poor relation' or `spinster aunt'.

Alex Clare is awkward, naive and over-sensitive, and you feel the suffocating burden of her family's expectations, and then the crushing weight of their disappointment as she rejects the only suitor that offers to marry her. It is an excellent feminist exploration of Victorian family life, women's lack of rights, and the opressiveness of religion and morality, as Alex decides the only option left to her is to join a convent. You begin to wonder if she might not have fared better trapped in a marraige with a man she did not love.

It is not an uplifting read, but the passion with which Delafield writes must have been explosive when it was first published in 1919, and I believe it remains an important asset to the women's rights movement. An incredibly moving and thought-provoking read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Bedford on 1 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
This novel describes the fate of a girl brought up at the turn of the last century, a girl brought up with the assumption that she would make a 'good' marriage and find her fulfilment as a wife and mother. The heroine, Alex, fails to make such a marriage, and E M Delafield explores with devastating insight the 'consequences' for her of that failure. On one hand, the novel is a deeply-felt examination of Alex's predicament, her thoughts and feelings; on the other hand, Delafield takes her story as the starting point for a strong critique of the Victorian family. In 'Consequences' Delafield explores the predicament of those Victorian women forced to endure the 'marriage market'. It is a very different novel from her 'Diary of a Provincial Lady' and yet it deals, ultimately, with the same issues. The provincial lady is a wife and mother - she would seem to have succeeded in the marriage market where Alex has failed - and yet Delafield shows us that the two characters are not so far apart as might be imagined. Both are asked to conform to the rules and rituals governing women's behaviour at the time; the provincial lady capitulates to great comic effect, putting up with a husband who merely grunts behind his newspaper and the tedium of running a large and busy home. Alex would seem to have escaped that, and yet her fate is even worse. This is not a particularly cheerful novel, but then, it's not supposed to be. What it is, is a poignant and thoughtful examination of a young girl's decisions and desperation, and this is why it is well worth reading.
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