Sunday, 12 April 2015

Monica Dickens ... I've only to hear the name and the years roll away and I'm curled up in an armchair with a bag of sweets and my mum's library book. She'd pull them out of her shopping bag, Catherine Cookson's Mary Ann books, Daphne du Maurier, Howard Spring, AJ Cronin - and Monica Dickens,    who impressed both of us because of her famous literary ancestor.

 I don't recall reading The Angel in the Corner - but when Darlene posted about it recently, she sent me scurrying to the library to put in a request. I checked it out yesterday, two minutes before closing - started it in bed last night - pulled it out from under the pillow first thing this morning and the day has vanished, I've done nothing except read to The End.

 I don't know why they're so enjoyable. It's pure Woman's Own fiction. The nice middle-class girl marries a good-looking brute who drags her down to life in a slum - but he can't vanquish her independent spirit. (The Penguin cover is too insipid and droopy; I think this lurid one sums it up better.)
It's completely unbelievable soap opera, and Monica Dickens has a penchant for clunky great coincidences that maybe she imbibed from her great-grandfather. But she's such a story teller, so good on descriptions of clothes and food and London and domestic detail and grubby newspaper offices ... so thanks, Darlene, I'm blaming you for my lost weekend!


Cosy Books said...

SO glad you enjoyed this one, Mary! Such a quaint first page and then Monica takes the reader practically to hell and back. An excellent way to spend a weekend but Roman wonders how you could manage it with The Masters on telly these past few days! His library book, needless to say, is going back completely untouched.

mary said...

It starts off so cosily by the fireside, doesn't it? Roman won't believe this, but I had to google The Masters ... I thought it was some new TV series that I'd missed. This is so not a sporting household!

Vintage Reading said...

I like Monica Dickens, too. Thanks for the reminder to revisit her.