All Day Saturday Paperback – 19 Sep 2009
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It is a hot summer Saturday and Mrs Helen Bailey, the wife of a wealthy sheep-farmer, is giving a party. Mrs Bailey is attractive woman in her late thirties, but her marriage is not a happy one. Her husband, Walter, has much in common with Nathan Westley in" June in Her Spring"; both men are withdrawn, melancholy and taciturn, haunted by suicidal thoughts. Unlike the Westleys who have two children, however, the Baileys are childless. Lacking any affection from her husband, Helen has taken to flirting (although not actually conducting affairs) with other men and has acquired the reputation of the "femme fatale" of the district.
The title reflects the fact that this is one of those novels, like Joyce's "Ulysses" or Malcolm Lowry's "Under the Volcano", where the whole of the action takes place during a single day- in this case the day of Helen's party. The book charts the relationships between the Baileys and their various guests. A key figure is Norman Culley, an ambitious young man on the make, good-looking but arrogant and socially awkward, with a gift for alienating people. Despite his difficult, prickly character, Helen has fallen passionately in love with Norman and this passion will prove to be an important driving force in the plot.Read more ›