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World War I Aftermath,
This review is from: Antic Hay (Paperback)
A great sadness permeates this book, but it remains a comic novel. The tragedy of the First World War is still fresh and the book's characters are still feeling, or trying not to feel, the trauma. New ideas in art, science and morality abound as the characters seek to grasp the future in an effort to escape the past. The ''Antic Hay'' was a lively medieval dance and it is a restless dance in search of everything "New" which we follow.
Mrs Viveash is central to the story. She is the candle around which most of the male characters , Gumbril, Lypiatt and Shearwater, revolve and it is her tragic affect on their lives which dominates the novel. The pain of the loss of her lover in the war is unbearable to her and it is her inability or unwillingness to feel for another that causes so much pain around her. Unaccountably, Gumbril seems on the edge of finding true love and potential happiness with the innocent Emily, but then abandon the pursuit of her too easily after a setback. I found myself annoyed by his fatalism.
The reader is left with a taste of the atmosphere of disappointment and disillusionment of the era.