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Customer Review

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars i went to "lippington", 9 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Frost In May (VMC) (Paperback)
Having been educated at the school on which Lippington is based (Antonia White went to Convent of the Sacred Heart, Roehampton which is now based at Woldingham in Surrey) I think that "Frost in May" in a brilliant evocation of convent school life as it was at the turn of the century. Many of the features of the school that White mentions (eg the "exemption" cards are still on display today (although they are obviously no longer used!) and the painting of Mary dressed in pink still hangs in the main library. However, the school has moved with the times and for this reason it was fascinating to read about what it was like ninety years ago. White's characterisation of the nuns is excellent and she prefectly captures the air of mystery that still, to an extent, surrounds them. She also conveys some of the rituals that are unique to a convent school.
The tragic ending to the novel is deeply disturbing in that it is inevitable almost from the moment that Nanda arrives in the school. I really enjoyed "Frost in May" but I think this may have been partially due to the fact that it satisifed my curiosity about what my school used to be like. I think that it could come across as slighly dull to many readers as a result of the long descriptive passages about convent school rituals. It is a very well-written account of a human tragedy but I do think that it could be considered extremely inaccessible to anyone who does not have some background knowledge of catholicism.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Feb 2010 16:41:52 GMT
I hope that the comment in this review that 'it could come across as slightly dull to many readers' will not put off any potential readers of Frost in May. I was first introduced to Antonia White's work when her autobiographical quartet of books (beginning with Frost in May) was televised as a series some years ago. I was enthralled enough to want to read all four books and that they are a close account of her own early life is very apparent. Frost in May has a particularly simple style which makes it a very easy and enjoyable read.
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