The Nutmeg Tree
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Top Customer Reviews
Sharp, a deliciously witty writer of rather eccentric English romances and childrens’ books, from the 1930s to the 1970s, had sadly gone out of print, and was only available as lucky finds in second hand shops or sometimes on line at some eye-watering prices.
Fortunately, Open Road Integrated Media who have a wonderful reputation for reissuing ‘minor’ classics in good, digital format, have now reissued a generous couple of handfuls of her titles.
And this is one of them, and I was delighted to be offered The Nutmeg Tree by Open Road, as a copy for review
Julia is a middle-aged actress, member of the chorus, and any kind of vaguely theatre related work she can get. She is a woman of impeccably loose morals. Promiscuous in part because she has a generous heart (and even more generous bosoms), she cannot bear to disappoint or embarrass a suitor. Not to mention the fact that she is hopeless with money, will squander what she has on a good time and good friends, and, when treading the boards work is slender, a man might take her out for a meal. She is not averse to undertaking the odd swindle, to part a fool from his money, either
It is Sharp’s particular genius, her wit and her warmth, to take this seemingly unprincipled woman, and make us root for her, delight in her, and understand exactly why so many who meet her, both men and women, happily fall under the spell of her charms. Despite her dishonesty, she is remarkably honest with herself about her failings, and really dislikes hurting or offending those whom she fleeces.Read more ›
I could tell that I had picked just the right book as soon as I read the opening paragraph: "Julia, by marriage Mrs Packett, by courtesy Mrs Macdermot, lay in her bath singing the Marseillaise. Her fine robust contralto, however, was less resonant than usual; for on this particular summer morning the bathroom, in addition to the ordinary fittings, contained a lacquer coffee table, seven hatboxes, half a dinner service, a small grandfather clock, all Julia's clothes, a single-bed mattress, thirty-five novelettes, three suitcases, and a copy of a Landseer stag. The customary echo was therefore lacking; and if the ceiling now and then trembled, it was not because of Julia's song, but because the men from the Bayswater Hire Furniture Company had not yet finished removing the hired furniture.Read more ›
The story centres on Julia who is widowed after a very short marriage. She decides to leave her daughter, Susan, in the care of her in-laws to pursue a career on the stage. She has no contact with her daughter and is surprised to receive a letter from her twenty years later, begging her to come and visit the family in France.
"The point is that I want to get married and Grandmother objects."
Julia decides to be reunited with her daughter and travels to France at the first opportunity.
The Nutmeg Tree is a heart warming book, packed with details of an English way of life that just doesn't exist any more. The plot isn't the best thing I've ever read, but it did make me smile!
I would normally have a problem with a character that abandoned her daughter, but for some reason this didn't really come into it - I loved Julia's character and just accepted that things were different back then. Julia is such a bold character who finds herself in all sorts of sticky situations - I loved the ingenious ways in which she wormed her way out of trouble and her courtship behaviour was very entertaining.
This book will appeal to fans of Persephone books, and I hope that one day they reprint one of her books as Margery Sharp does deserve to be rediscovered.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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