Saturday, December 27, 2008

In a Summer Season (book review)

Book review from The Movie Snob

In a Summer Season, by Elizabeth Taylor (Virago Modern Classics, orig. (c) 1961). No, this is not a book by the fabulous star of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but a novel by a British author who lived from 1912-1975. I think I read about her in Atlantic magazine as being a fine but underrated author, so I made a note and got this book for Christmas. Obviously it is a quick read, checking in at 221 pages. It is also an enjoyable read, although I thought the ending a little contrived. It is the story of Kate Heron, a widow in her 40s who lives in a small village an hour from London, who was left well off by her husband, and who has married a handsome but directionless man ten years her junior. This last detail in particular has many of the other characters' tongues wagging and causes Kate herself some consternation. Apparently her work has been compared to Jane Austen, and I can see why; the book is full of close observations about the various characters, and events click into place in a satisfying manner. I enjoyed it a lot.


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