The Bender Paperback – 23 Jan 1975
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Set in the 1960's London, George is looking after his brother's 17 year old daughter who is pregnant. He is faced with a modern problem and has to come up with a modern answer.
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The back story is conveyed through the amusing device of having Lady Butterfield dictate her memoirs to a Grundig tape recorder. It develops that George's brother Timothy is going to take a new job at much better pay in order to finance his daughter's problem. When George visits his niece she knows right off the bat that he is seeking her out in order to be relieved of the obligation to repay the loan. She tells him she can't help him in that respect.
The party at Lady Butterfield's is attended by George and his brother Guy, but George has become frightfully drunk. Before going to Aunt Clara's George has spoken with his former wife, Alice. His Aunt Clara advises him, (she isn't really his aunt, but a cousin of some sort), to take his brother's girl friend Anina to Camden Town since he is in quite a state. George has even broken down to the point that he asks Lady Butterfield for 200 pounds to repay Tim. She refuses.
While his Aunt Ada is dying, George tells his brother his niece will inherit Uncle Roderick's funds since George is sterile, a case of the mumps. A sort of reconciliation follows. George is of some use for some things.
I cannot dislike anything written by Paul Scott. This doesn't have the glamor of the novels set in India, but, nonetheless, there are many fine touches. Among other things, this is very funny.