35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
A novel for the epicurean,
This review is from: The Soul Of Kindness (VMC) (Paperback)
Elizabeth Taylor is an author little read, and indeed little known, in the US. I chanced upon her through the excellent Virago series, and now can't get enough of her subtle wit and beautifully reserved style.
Some readers may complain that "nothing ever happens" and there is "no character development" in her novels, but they are obviously not reading deeply enough. To be sure, Ms. Taylor writes about ordinary people in ordinary situations--her novels are sometimes referred to as "domestic"-- but she does so with such perception (sometimes devastingly so, as in this particular novel), that she always manages to hold the attention of discerning readers.
The "soul of kindness" in the novel is Flora, a woman tragically unaware of the disastrous effect her acts of "kindness" has on the people around her. She is so blind to her own shallowness, one can't help feeling sorry for her. Ms. Taylor paints the layers of her story with masterfully subtle colors, telling much of it through the eyes of the secondary characters, who are all wonderfully three-dimensional and familiar.
I highly recommend this novel, which I consider to be Ms. Taylor's finest.
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Initial post: 12 Aug 2012 11:43:09 BDT
Wonderful review, thank you. I tell people that nothing happens in Barbara Pym novels but I think of this as a positive comment; something so compelling about her novels. I am SO happy to have the prospect of lots of lovely novels to enjoy.
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