7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC) (Paperback)A book about ageing, waiting for death in a gently decaying hotel, must be dull and melancholic? No. Elizabeth Taylor uses words carefully, to create a believable and never boring account of the minutae of everyday life. Mrs Palfrey is a great creation, never sentimental but likeable and real.
I work with older people and I recognise the dilemmas Mrs Palfrey and her fellow residents face. Written in the 1960's this book is, if anything, more relevant today. It suggests that older people can have hopes, wishes and desires and are not ready for the irrelevance the rest of society considers them. All this might suggest a solemn, dutiful work, but Taylor's touch is light and she elegantly examines the social complexities of the time.She can be tragic and gently funny, often at the same time.
I won't spoil the ending, but it carried great force and made me reach for my handkerchief.