8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Delightful family novel,
This review is from: Hostages to Fortune (Paperback)
Absolutely the best kind of Persephone novel. Published in 1933, and a contemporary reviewer wrote: 'Let me say at once that I do not believe that sun-bathers and sea-shore nymphs will in any considerable number select this book as a beach companion. It is something to be read and relished in an armchair at home.' And I completely know what they meant! If ever there was a domestic novel, this is it.
It is a novel without a plot and nothing much happens. Or rather, everyday life happens for Catherine, an impecunious doctor's wife struggling to raise her family between the wars. There are money worries - and you might be surprised at how financially stretched a doctor's family could be - all the drudgery and boredom as well as the joys of raising children, the ups and downs of marriage when sometimes it seems that she has nothing in common with the man she once was so in love with. But the years pass and she sticks at it and imperceptibly, something fine and solid is achieved, although it is clear that the outlook for the next generation is grim and that she can't cushion her children from whatever lies ahead.
Maybe it is the present economic situation that makes this almost 70-year-old book such a remarkably 'relevant' read today, full of a quiet wisdom that is achieved through experience. (It draws heavily on Elizabeth Cambridge's own life as a doctor's wife with three children.) A comforting read for any mother who wonders if she's (ever) doing the right thing.