If I have one teensy criticism of the novel it is that too many characters are introduced in the first chapters. I used to blame myself as a reader if I had to keep turning back pages to remember which character was which. I now think that the writer is responsible for clarity. However, I would recommend this very English novel as an enjoyable summer read.
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Mariana by Monica Dickens
This novel begins after the outbreak of World War II. Mary is sitting listening to the radio when she hears that the ship her husband is on has hit a mine and sunk. While she waits anxiously for news she recalls her childhood days in Cornwall, her teenage years spent in pursuit of her handsome cousin Denys, her miserable time at drama college in London and her wild love affair in Paris. This is an absorbing coming of age story. Monica Dickens has a light, almost flippant comic touch and yet convincingly describes the angst of adolescence. The scenes where Mary accompanies her elusive cousin Denys to an Oxford ball are amusing yet painful.