Monday, 7 December 2015


Struggling to find something that I'd really enjoy reading over the weekend, I browsed my Virago shelf of charity book finds that I've yet to get around to reading. Was The Brimming Cup what I was looking for ... sadly, it wasn't. I've read The Home-maker - Dorothy Canfield's 1924 novel about a role-swapping husband and wife, interesting because it's so ahead of its time, even if the ending is a bit of a letdown as they let themselves be browbeaten by public opinion. I know I've read Her Son's Wife from 1926, though I can't remember much about it. But The Brimming Cup .... aaargh, how earnest, how preachy, how dull! It starts in 1909 when a young couple on the brink of married life vow always to be true to what's best in themselves .. then it's fast forward to 1920 when Marise, the wife - a sainted bloody Angel in the Home if ever there was one - begins to feel a nagging twinge that she has lost her own identity in nappyland. She feels a frisson of attraction towards the millionaire who has conveniently moved in next door and who unfortunately reminded me of that spivvy looking American who plays Mr Selfridge in that ghastly TV series. No, Marise, hang on in there - you will find true fulfilment in another few decades with the invention of Persil when your whites will never be whiter. You are so fine, so wholesome, such a perfect example of womanhood ... and such a crashing bore.

3 comments:

Toffeeapple said...

Thank you for this Mary, you have saved me some money! I am thinking of getting more E H Young and novels for grown ups by Richmal Crompton. Pan Macmillan have recently republished the Cromptons and they do look good.

mary said...

I love EH Young, Toffeeapple - and there are still a few I haven't read. The Crompton titles look enticing - quite expensive, aren't they! I've only read Family Roundabout and Frost at Morning which were always quite easy to find.

Tabitha said...

Spivvy is exactly right. That Selfridge series does look awful. I can't watch the promos without diving for the remote and poking wildly at the channel button.