This is my second attempt at reading this book. I first tried to read it as a teenager having borrowed a copy from my local library. And I struggled. It was not because of the language but because I was too young to fully undertand the importance of social conventions. Reading it again as an adult having seen many marriages of friends and families and the futility of social norms, I fully appreciate all the humour, irony, cruelty and helplessness that this book beautifully reveals. The novel gripped me from start to finish - the characters are brilliantly brought to life. You feel for them all - Newland, May and Ellen. You don't need to watch any films or tv adaptions for this book to be brought to life. The final chapter of this book still haunts me.
If like me, you started to read this and gave up, please try again. It will be well worth it.