Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review :: Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

The Pursuit of LoveThe Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this read. I was interested in reading it as I'd just read The Bolter: Edwardian Heartbreak and High Society Scandal in Kenya which, in the further reading section, referred to this novel commenting that Nancy Mitford had based one of her characters on Idina Sackville (the original Bolter).

Set in England and Paris this novel charts the life of Linda, an upper class woman living in the 1920s / 1930s. I've read that much of the early parts of the novel are based on the home life of the Mitfords (so I will be interested in reading a biography / autobiography), whereas the later parts of the novel certainly seem to follow some of the Bolter's story. The narrator for this novel is Linda's cousin who lives with the family in the holidays but is looked after by her aunt because her own mother has abandoned her (again similar to the Bolter).

Linda is a romantic and wants a man and marriage and does get men and marriage which unfortunately are unsuitable. Eventually she makes a better choice...

Like others I found the novel very witty and an easy read. I read it over two train journeys and one night in the bath. It was that type of book. Un-put-down-able in some respects, and especially if you are interested in 1920s / 1930s age of excess. But, like others have commented, the ending is a little sudden and an little weak. My younger brother used to write stories in school, he'd get bored and then say "and then they died" and this novel by Nancy Mitford had something of that. I guess it was the choice she made but also meant there could be no follow-ups.

I'm looking forward to reading some of her other novels like Love in a Cold Climate and Wigs on the Green but at the moment I am interested in knowing more about her family so am reading an autobio by Diana Mitford Moseley (of the meeting Hitler fame).

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