2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Incredibly bleak, bleakly incredible,
This review is from: Consequences (Paperback)
This novel is a searingly honest insight into a girl's life in Victorian England, where if you fail to find a husband after a season or two you are assigned to the shelf, to live out your years as a `poor relation' or `spinster aunt'.
Alex Clare is awkward, naive and over-sensitive, and you feel the suffocating burden of her family's expectations, and then the crushing weight of their disappointment as she rejects the only suitor that offers to marry her. It is an excellent feminist exploration of Victorian family life, women's lack of rights, and the opressiveness of religion and morality, as Alex decides the only option left to her is to join a convent. You begin to wonder if she might not have fared better trapped in a marraige with a man she did not love.
It is not an uplifting read, but the passion with which Delafield writes must have been explosive when it was first published in 1919, and I believe it remains an important asset to the women's rights movement. An incredibly moving and thought-provoking read.