Ugh,... Booklikes' slowness is driving me nuts. I hit the update field and the post only loaded once I finished doing the washing up.
Anyway, I woke this morning with an interest in starting The Weather in the Streets which is another book I picked up purely because of the cover, ... and a 3-for-2 sale might have had something to do with it last year, too.
Anyway, this is interesting. It's the sequel to another book, which I haven't read. I didn't know it was a sequel, but it is likely that I would have been less interested in the first book anyway as it is a coming of age story.
This one starts with a woman, Olivia, meeting an old acquaintance (Rollo) on a train. There is something very Noel Coward to the story, and I don't just mean Still Life (Coward's 1936 one-act play that was the basis of the classic film Brief Encounter). The dialogue and observations are very witty, or rather, sharp.
This is not a comedy, tho. There is something tragic about both Olivia and Rollo.
Interestingly, The Weather on the Streets was also published in 1936.
‘I’m afraid I’m not very grown-up,’ he said suddenly.
‘Nor am I.’
‘I should have said you were.’
‘Oh, no!’ There was a pause; and she added nervously: ‘I’ve noticed people with children don’t generally mind so much … about age, I mean. They seem to feel less anxious about time.’
‘Do they? I suppose they do,’ he said. ‘I expect it’s a good thing to have children.’
‘You haven’t got any?’
‘No,’ he said. ‘Have you?’
They made it a joke, and laughed … All the same, it was surprising he hadn’t produced an heir. Couldn’t, wouldn’t Nicola? … or what?
‘Then,’ she said, ‘there are the pleasures of the intellect. They’re said to be lasting. We must cultivate our intellects.’
‘Too late,’ he said. ‘One ought to make at least a beginning in youth, and I omitted to do so. The fact is, I don’t care much about the intellect. I’m afraid the scope of my pleasures is rather limited.’
‘Confined in fact entirely to those of the senses.’
‘Oh, I see …’ She answered his odd comically inquiring look with a lift of the eyebrows. ‘Well, I suppose they’re all right. Only they’re apt to pall.’
‘Oh, are they?’
‘I was thinking of cake.’ She sighed. ‘It used to be my passion – especially chocolate, or any kind of large spicy bun. Now, it’s beginning to mean less … much less.’
He leaned back, laughing; the tension dissolved again.
I think I shall like this quite a lot.