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|Print List Price:||£8.25|
Save £7.06 (86%)
The Old Wives' Tale Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Edition, 22 Jan 2014||
Top Customer Reviews
Constance remains in the family business and while strong and determined, maintains the outlook of a provincial matron, facing the ups and downs, economic and social, of life running a large drapery shop. Sophia runs off to Paris with a cad, soon gets his measure and then decides to make her own life running an upmarket boarding house. While neither woman's life can be said to be happy or especially fulfilled, the reconciliation of the two sisters is moving and believable (it made me cry, anyway!) and their last years described with a gentle, sardonic humour which adds a different dimension to that of most of the French realists Bennett admired. This is an outstanding novel and in my view should be on the reading list of everyone who wants to think of themselves as a well-read person!
Much has been written about the influence of the 19th century French realist writers on Bennett in this book, but I found him better. Zola's pessimistic view of life I find too exasperating at times. In this book Sophia develops realistically from a dreamy irresponsible schoolgirl into a young woman with a robust attitude to the world. Nowhere is this done better than the chapters where she falls ill with a fever and is taken in by a middle-aged courtesan. When the courtesan is left abandoned by her last lover, Sophia is shocked by the way the lady has humiliated herself trying to hang onto him. Why didn't she simply put aside some of her vast earnings from her heyday for when this was bound to happen? Here we have the shop-keeper's daughter in all her tremendous commonsense glory. Her feckless husband is also well-drawn and very believable. He's not wicked, just simply devoid of any kind of sense or responsibility.Read more ›
In the final section of this book Bennett asks the question 'what is life for?', and I think gets as close as you can to answering it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant book. Rereading it, as first read it as a teenager. Now in my 60's it means even more as all life is there. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I've never read Arnold Bennett before. He's as good as Trollope, at least in this book. He even tells you what the dog is thinking! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Shirley-Kate
I found the book absorbing. The characters are believable and the insight into each person's good and bad traits made them seem whole. I would recommend this book.Published 5 months ago by Claire Chater
Book format much larger than normal paperback so a bit of a shock but I would have realised this if I had read the specification.Published 6 months ago by Gerry