Thursday, 10 September 2015
It's been a while since I treated to myself to a new Persephone and Vain Shadow, by Jane Hervey, turned out to be a little gem; so well-observed and funny. It covers four days as a family gathers for the funeral of a wealthy, overbearing and not greatly mourned patriarch. His widow hopes for peace and a new peach bathroom suite. His sons jostle for position and status: who gets to sit - literally - in father's chair? Will his grand-daughter find courage to break free from her bullying husband? There's a wonderful scene when they divvy up the small treasures in a cabinet. In the end, Jane Hervey has you feeling a grudging admiration for the mean old bastard. Jane Hervey is 95, still writing - but has never published another book. Made me wonder if there's any more like this stuffed in her sock drawer?