Customer Review

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars six sisters in search of an editor, 10 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters (Hardcover)
No book can possibly capture the incomparable story of the Mitford sisters better than they can tell it themselves. From society scandal to family tragedy, from one ideological extreme to another, this masterfully edited volume conveys every aspect of this fascinatingly complex clan and the era in which they lived and squabbled. Capable of intense loyalty and unpardonable betrayal, the Mitford sisters were above all masters of the arcane nickname, private jokes that are at times caustic, at others affectionate and touching. The childish and precocious banter, the patter of an informal, often fraught, discussion, like a late night conversation in six voices, broadcast over long distances and with much to be read between the lines, is what gives this book so much of its charm and import. It's like reading a history of the most traumatic events of the 20th century with concise, pithy commentary, punctuated by humorous asides, conducted by literate narrators pathologically unafraid of the big issues. Mosley's touch is deft; the introductory passages to each section could stand alone, and yet remain a model of editorial restraint. Like an assured chef d'orchestre, her selection allows the sisters speak for themselves, drawing out themes without sacrificing each unique strand or its counterpoint. This book is a perfect primer to, and an endlessly amusing psychological portrait of one of the most exasperating and alluring families of the modern era.
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4.3 out of 5 stars (60 customer reviews)
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