Monday, 17 October 2016

What a lovely cover (At the Piano, by Harold Knight, from Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne). But how disappointing to discover that there's a novel by EH Young that I haven't much enjoyed; haven't at all enjoyed, really. I've been ekeing them out - having so loved Miss Mole, William and Chatterton Square - but it seemed time for another second-hand treat from Amazon. (Oh, I'm high-maintenance!)
This one was published in 1928. I've been limping through it, because I can't bring myself to care much  about any of the characters, and especially not about the central character, the vicar's most unappetising cousin Maurice, a deservedly-lonely, petty-mindedly revengeful, blundering, sanctimonious clergyman. Maurice has been standing in as a summer holiday locum for the more attractive Edward, whom he hasn't seen for many years, but now Edward and his wife and daughter have returned home. Maurice - a most pathetic excuse for a man - has fancied himself in love for years with his cousin's wife. Not that she'd have looked at him in a month of Sunday sermons. (Although I couldn't understand why she hadn't done rather better for herself than marrying the vicar, when it's clearly rather tiresome being a clergy wife and feeling that one's husband looks a bit of a twit on Sundays in church.)
I suppose it is a comedy of errors, so many secrets and misunderstandings and to-ings and fro-ings that I rather lost track as I wasn't very interested. It's an odd book ... there's a feeling of building up to some moral tragedy, but then it all fizzles out.  Of course, the suspicion that a vicar might have had a 'past' would have caused more of a frisson in 1928 than today.


Toffeeapple said...

I have that same cover on my copy but, do you know what? I don't recall that story at all, I shall have to re-read.

mary said...

I don't think it's one that will stick in my mind, Toffeeapple - and I so loved all her others.