48 pages matching felt in this book
Results 1-3 of 48
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
EH Young is one of the authors I never would have heard about if it hadn’t been for Virago. Her novels are for the most part set in a town she calls Upper Radstowe, based upon Bristol. The heroine of this story is Dahlia, a young, nonconformist woman married to the curate of Upper Radsowe, Cecil Sproat. The pair have only known each other for eight months and been married for only three weeks, and so they are still getting to know one another. Dahlia comes from a rather checkered past; her mother Louisa is re-married to a man with whom she probably had an adulterous affair; and her sister Jenny (the main character of Jenny Wren, to which this book is a sequel) has run off with Louisa’s lodger. Then there are the Vicar, Mr. Doubleday, and his wife, whose marriage serves as a contrast to that of the Sproats. This is a novel that centers on the theme of marriage; Dahlia is still coming to terms with what it means to be a wife, whereas Mrs. Doubleday, who has been married for thirty years and has a grown son, has become accustomed to it. Much more satisfactory is Louisa’s marriage to a local farmer, with whom she’s found perfect happiness. Louisa has found a way to be herself, whereas I think Dahlia conforms to what she thinks a curate’s wife should be like, and Mrs. Doubleday, because of the kind of domineering, selfish person she is, can’t find a way to be happy. Therefore, the only marriage with romance in it is Louisa’s. There is a constant, exhausting power struggle in the Doubleday and Sproat marriages that is absent in the Grimshaws’. EH Young tends to focus her stories on character creation and development, and it’s interesting to watch Dahlia’s growth in the early months of her marriage. There’s little in the way of plot, in fact, not much happens, but the details of the ways that people behave when married are very good. I’m not married and therefore can’t sympathize with these characters in that way; but the novel is no less powerful for that.
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
The Curate's Wife is a story of marriage. Dahlia and Cecil Sproat, the title couple, are newly married. Cecil adores Dahlia; she is affectionate but not passionate towards him. Dahlia chose marriage primarily in response to a strong desire to live away from her mother and stepfather. She also desperately misses her sister Jenny, who left town to live near a young antiques dealer, formerly a lodger in her mother's house. Dahlia doesn't share Cecil's spiritual views, and with her outspoken nature she finds it difficult to play the part of a curate's wife. Every day the couple dance around one another, too shy to show strong affection and nearly always surprised by some newly-discovered aspect of the other's character. These discoveries often lead to arguments, and later, reconciliation: Thus, in one day, she experienced the sensation of slipping from a hold, then of recovering it from another angle and finding that though she was not in exactly the place from which she started, she had not lost much by the fall and was actually in a better position for the next step, and she thought she could go on firmly now, not knowing that in this most difficult of relationships, there must be, if it survived with any beauty, this periodical slipping and recovery and advance in a slightly different direction. (p. 40) Dahlia realizes early on that her marriage will not be a passionate one. She enjoys the attentions of Simon Tothill for a while, even while realizing their relationship has no future. When her sister Jenny returns to the community, Dahlia welcomes her with open arms and lives somewhat vicariously through Jenny's relationships with local men. Meanwhile, there is another couple worthy of attention: the vicar, Norman Doubleday, and his wife Flora. Their marriage is also explored in depth, with quite poignant results, but for most of the novel the couple provide comic relief. Mr. Doubleday is chubby and somewhat dim-witted, prone to repetitive speech and constant humming. Mrs. Doubleday rules the roost, attempting to control everyone and everything: She did not understand why what she did not like should be allowed... (p. 250) A visit by their adult son Reginald forces Flora to face up to the reality of her marriage and her part in it. Emily Hilda Young is marvelous in her portrayal of both couples. The Curate's Wife is a sequel to Jenny Wren, and I found it a more mature work exploring more complex themes. A very good read.