- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (3 Aug. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844083780
- ISBN-13: 978-1844083787
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 19.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Frost In May (VMC) Paperback – 3 Aug 2006
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
More About the Author
'Evelyn Waugh called [her] one of the very best novelists of the day - a title she still deserves' CAROL SHIELDS * 'Intense, troubling, semi-miraculous ... a work of art' Elizabeth Bowen *'Frost in May is the unsurpassed novel of convent school life. This story of a clash between a determined young girl and an authoritarian regime is both perceptive and painfully emotional, convincing in every detail' Hermione Lee, Observer *'A masterpiece. Beautifully written, it is a calm and factual record of the slow death of the soul' Selina Hastings
*'Frost in May is the unsurpassed novel of convent school life' Hermione Lee, ObserverSee all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Nanda is always trying her best to conform, while naturally testing her boundaries as any child does and slightly resentful of the denial of 'special friends' and rules about everything from reading matter to how the girls are to bathe. Despite the fact that friendships are frownded upon and fought against, of course Nanda makes them. It is the beautiful Leonie De Wesseldorf, half French and half German, from an old Catholic family of wealth and privilege, who, without meaning to, brings about her downfall.
In essence, this is a school story - about a young girls growing up in a closed community. However, the ambiguous feelings of religion hang over everything Nanda does. She both embraces her religion fervently and yet fights against it, even without meaning to. As all children do, she understands far more than the adults think she does. "If they were vague about heaven, they were very definite indeed about hell. Nanda felt a great deal more positive about the conditions of life in hell than in, say, the West of Scotland or Minneapolis," states the author with, one feels, only too much truth. It is because Nanda tries so desperately to please both at school, and at home, that you feel for her so strongly at the end of the book. A very moving and wonderful read.
The tragic ending to the novel is deeply disturbing in that it is inevitable almost from the moment that Nanda arrives in the school. I really enjoyed "Frost in May" but I think this may have been partially due to the fact that it satisifed my curiosity about what my school used to be like. I think that it could come across as slighly dull to many readers as a result of the long descriptive passages about convent school rituals. It is a very well-written account of a human tragedy but I do think that it could be considered extremely inaccessible to anyone who does not have some background knowledge of catholicism.
What it has given me, apart from a social history of the education of middle and upper classes before the great war, is an insight into how it is possible to disconnect a human being from her true enquiring and emotional self, her 'free child' you might say, using religion as a means of social control. This is particularly fascinating to me at a time when I'm looking for a bit of God in my life as a tough old bird well into my dotage. It's a timely reminder to keep on thinking for myself, especially when I'm told I will offend people unless I change who I am or what I know to be true. It's amazing to me, but adults are still vulnerable to manipulations of their wish to belong.
I'm currently halfway through 'Lost Traveller,' the 2nd book of the tetralogy, (quadrilogy?) in the Fontana paperback edition. You can get the two first books in 'Frost in May 1' Frost in May Book Oneand the last two in 'Frost in May 2' which saves a bit of money. Mind you the printing is dreadful and doesn't do justice to the high education and subtle touch of the author.
The most likely reason for this is that these novelists are women, who write largely about women and, possibly (although never exclusively), for women. It is certainly not because of the quality of their novels.
Frost in May is a remarkably evocative and painful novel which, despite its gentle pace, is always absorbing and impossible to forget. Its subject matter, that of a convent school just before the first world war, might at once seem irrelevant and childish. This is the mistake, it seems, generations have made.
In fact, one does not need to be a convent educated catholic to recognise the characters and issues which White raises in this novel. Educated 80 years later in exclusively state, secular schools, I would seem to have little in common with the heroine but White writes not about just an institution but about humanity, not just about nuns but about women, not just about catholicism but about faith.
It is not only relevant, however, but it is also a very adult novel. The inexperience of the childish Nanda is constantly clear when compared to the relative maturity of the writer. Nanda does not get her relationships right; she does not understand her father in the way the writer and therefore the reader does. White's deep understanding of human morality and motivation is quite startling. Never have I identified myself so closely with a protagonist as I have with the heroine of the Frost in May quartet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good read. The author obviously did a lot of research before writing this book and I couldn't put it down.Published 12 days ago by Michael Jones
SPOILER ALERT: Beware a plot giveaway (though the plot is not the most significant point of the novel, and this can be seen coming a mile off). Read morePublished 7 months ago by Peter Scott-presland
Much enjoyed. It brought back to me so much of my own convent educated childhood. Not much had changed in 50 years.Published 8 months ago by Virginia
This book couldn't have been written if you hadn't been to said type of convent school. Very well written and good story. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Maggie
This is essentially a school story, although not necessarily one aimed at children or younger readers. Read morePublished 14 months ago by BookWorm