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The Weather In The Streets (VMC) Paperback – 2 Mar 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (2 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844083063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844083060
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

...the first writer to filter her stories through a woman's feelings & perceptions Anita Brookner She is immensely readable, acute, passionate, funny and original Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book Description

* the sequel to AN INVITATION TO THE WALTZ
* a novel of searing honesty and a passionate portrayal of forbidden love

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
We all know that They Never Leave Their Wives, and we know from the beginning that this book is unlikely to end happily for Olivia, its charming heroine. She's a nice middle-class girl, trying to live the bohemian life on no money in 1930s London; Rollo, her lover, is the heir to a baronetcy, rich, handsome, successful- and married. She's on a losing wicket from the start, but she can't resist him; soon she's staying in on the offchance he might call round and lying to her friends and family in the time-honoured manner. The reader is subtly shown that there are two truths here: on the one hand there is a genuine love story- Olivia and Rollo really love each other- but on the other, this is the account of Olivia's desperate struggle for the status, wealth and social acceptance she would get as the recognised partner of an alpha male like Rollo. The materialistic aspects of the affair are described in luscious detail- the emerald ring, the weekend trips in expensive cars, the extravagant lunches and lavish gifts of books and flowers- as are the glimpses of Rollo's wealthy lifestyle that make Olivia covet the position of his wife. To conclude: this is both a touching love story and a cynical account of the relations between men and women, all in Rosamond Lehmann's crisp, poetic, humorous prose.
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By A Customer on 5 April 2006
Format: Paperback
Lehmann's novel seems to, with her lilting lovely prose, to describe the tragedy that love can be. In her unique style she describes Olivia's inner life in a way you wish you could describe your own. The beauty and lyricism with which she crystallises the pain that her heroine feels, and the lack of cliche when analysing an almost unavoidably cliched subject make this a truly beautiful novel. Or as someone else put it "a novel of tenderness".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel should surely be up there in the British modernist canon alongside the works of Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence and Jean Rhys. I'd even argue nothing else from Britain's 1930s is its equal.

The crits here mostly are impressed by the story, although I was taken as much with Lehmann's prose style. She had developed another way of using words to record the central character's passing thoughts: not really stream-of-consciousness, yet in some respects more grounded and convincing than Joyce's rhetorical brilliance or Woolf's internal conversations. There is an emotional complexity and utter plausibility to those thoughts.

The novel is organised into four parts, each seemingly alluding to a seasonal motif. The first takes place over two early spring days, introduces us to Olivia, and sees her future lover break the ice. The second stretches over glowing summer months, sketching in a sometimes hazy, sometimes crystal clear manner, their love affair. The third is a case of drab and cheerless autumnal weeks, when Olivia is marooned on her own and realises the affair's end is approaching. The last cold section, which starts in autumn and runs into winter, sees it finish and Olivia start to pick up the shattered pieces of her life.

A question worth pondering as you read. What is the point of the parallel between Olivia falling sick and being cared for by Ivor (her ex-husband), and at the same time Simon falling ill and being cared for by Anna (his ex-wife)?
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Format: Paperback
I love this book so much my paperback copy has loose pages.
On other web sites I have seen this book describes as 'dated' I can see where younger reviewers might be coming from, it was first published in 1936, certainly before I was born, and the customs and manners are almost as alien as those in the world of Jane Austen. The emotions aroused however, in the very heart of the heroine, Olivia, are timeless, not for nothing did readers continue to write to the author right up to her death saying' Oh Miss Lehmann you have written my story.'
The novel is a sequel to 'Invitation to The waltz' a slighter book but none the less important and as essential read if you are going to get the best of this one.

'Invitation' leaves Olivia gauche, naive and in the wrong dress, at an elegant ball where she finds a chance to be alone with the dashing, wealthy, upper class Rollo. This book picks up some years later with a meeting of the couple on a train to find a thinner, better dressed more world weary woman. Rollo is much the same. One of the themes permeating Lehmann's work, is that of the outsider looking in, this reflects her own real life experience starting when she was let down by a young man at Cambridge and continuing all her life where she seemed to feel she was not quite worthy of entry into the top drawer. This class theme is one of the areas that may seem to 'date' the book but in other ways it is strikingly modern. The abortion scene for instance, is as up to date as it gets, in terms of conflicting emotions and fear and was a scandal at the time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of those novels, so few, which grabs you early on and doesn't let you go. The story stayed with me for days and I have reread it several times over the years. In a sense it's a classic tale about an affair with a married man but somehow it's more than that.
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