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Add it to your classics,
This review is from: All Passion Spent (VMC) (Paperback)
This is a curious book. It is the recollections of an 88 year-old woman and her contemplation over her past as her very eminent husband dies and she is left -after 70 years of marriage- to reflect upon her choices and her life.
In worldly terms she had anything a woman of her time could want. A very successful marriage with a man she loved and who loved her, six children many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had a very enviable social status as her late husband had been a viceroy in India and a PM and no financial worries. She had anything that 'anyone' wants but not what she wanted albeit to live free of social constrains and to become a painter.
The novel compares her personal value system with the socially imposed value system presenting a person that succumbed to the demands on the world but always believed there was something fraud in her life.
There is little action in the book as it is written in a contemplative manner as the title suggests passionlessly. There is something Proustian in the narrating style which is slow and reflective. In concept it manifests how women (and maybe men too) were trapped by social expectations into a life that lacked authenticity.