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on 8 February 2010
Published in in 1943, this is readable but very dated; it hasn't stood the test of time as well as The Provincial Lady and I found that the snobbery/very English class consciousness grates rather than amuses. Interesting, though, as a period piece. And a reminder that sex wasn't invented in the 1960s!
Valentine (a well-bred 'provincial lady' type) is the mother of a rude, difficult daughter who is living a promiscuous life in wartime London. (It's one of the weaknesses of the book that we never really learn quite why this mother-daughter relationship broke down in the first place.) The daughter is having a brief, sexy fling with a colonel and manages to get him billeted in the family country home; it turns out, however, that he is her mother's teenage love of many years ago - a romance that was broken up by Valentine's family because a) he didn't have any money and b) being Irish, middleclass and catholic, he wasn't 'one of us.'
Their love re-ignites ... but is there any future for them when he has already bedded Valentine's daughter?
Quite shocking for its day ... guess this is what was happening when the provincial lady wasn't at the WI!
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