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Such an elegant writer
on 1 December 2008
When I finished my first Elizabeth Taylor - I only discovered her a few months ago - I immediately set out to read
everything she has written. She is always so brilliantly observant and it seems she is incapable of writing even
a single jarring word.
This book is about Kate, a wealthy widow who marries a purposeless, feckless charmer ten years younger than herself. Dermot didn't marry her for her money; he does love her, or thinks he does, but how long can such a marriage last? Elizabeth Taylor's talent is to make you sympathise with Dermot, too; his feeble attempts to find work, his lack of any self-respect, his awkwardness with his wife's friends whose literary allusions soar over his head, his wretched boredom during an evening of classical music. Their marriage is more like a tolerant mother and son relationship with passionate sex thrown in ... and indeed Dermot (whose hinterland is fast cars, pubs and television) has far more in common with Kate's son.
The end of the book - and Kate's return to her old, sedate Home Counties life - is quite shocking.