- Paperback: 298 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader (29 Nov. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1448204283
- ISBN-13: 978-1448204281
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,352,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Way Things Are (Bloomsbury Reader) Paperback – 29 Nov 2012
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About the Author
Born to Count Henry de la Pasture and his novelist wife, Delafield (1890-1943) was brought up according to strict Late Victorian precepts, but failing to ensnare a husband, she entered a convent in Belgium the moment she was 21. Having recovered from this experience she became a VAD, (voluntary nursing for the war effort) and wrote her first novel. Delafield started publishing in her mid twenties and the year her fourth novel Consequences was published, she married Paul Dashwood, a civil engineer turned land agent; three years in Malaya was followed by life in rural Devon. Many of her novels and short stories are semi-autobiographical or stem from her experiences living abroad and in the rural countryside.
Top customer reviews
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Nicola Beauman, in her introduction, wonders if this novel can be appreciated by readers other than middleclass married women with children ... and as I fall outside this group, maybe that's why I struggled with it. Like the other provincial lady, Laura has a large house and not enough money to keep up appearances; she struggles to keep servants and is worn out if she has to mind her own children for even a few hours. She realises that she was never in love with her husband, but she wanted the status of being a married woman. She appreciates what Alfred has done for her - but then a whole new vista opens up when she meets Duke Ayland who offers not sex, but emotional engagement.
Nicola Beauman obviously feels that women readers will sympathise with Laura: 'We can laugh at Alfred; we can smile wryly; or we can absolutely loathe him,' she says.
Actually, it was Alfred for whom I felt sympathy ... Laura is shackled by middleclass respectability, but it can't have been much fun for the men who were married to women like this! No wonder they'd sooner finish the crossword than have sex!
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