Saturday, 10 January 2009

Rosamond Lehmann

I had to put The Balkan Trilogy aside because I'd forgotten that I needed to read Sue Gee's Reading in Bed for my local library book club. Sadly, I didn't enjoy it much. An OK read but the prose didn't quite sparkle enough for me.

The feminine middlebrow (to use a term coined by Nicola Humble) is one of my favourite genres and I've been aware for quite a while that I really need to read Rosamond Lehmann. I picked up the The Weather in the Streets in Borders and I'm going to squeeze this in before returning to Olivia Manning. I love the quote by Carmen Callil on the cover. For women of her generation:
The Weather in the Streets was our Bridget Jones's Diary

8 comments:

Sarah said...

I've meant to read Lehmann for some time, and have the dusty books to prove it! I look forward to hearing about this and I hope, being inspired to read her work.

kristina said...

The Sue Gee book was on the book club shelf at our local Waterstones, but I think I might give it a miss now.

On the other hand, I've been meaning to read Rosamond Lehmann for quite a while, so might pick this one up instead!

I completely agree with you about the 'feminine middlebrow' being one of my favorite genres, I just never knew what to call it before. Thank you so much for the terminology!

Oh and do let me know about the puzzles. I'll be away til the beginning of February but I could post them to you then if you like :) K x

_lethe_ said...

Hmmm, I can't say I find that a recommendation. I bought Bridget Jones' Diary before it became a hype, because I like reading diaries and novels in diary form, but I got stuck on page 37 or thereabouts.

When the hype and the film were firmly established I tried again. I plodded on until page 58, leafed through the rest and concluded that reading it all would have been a complete waste of time.

(I have weird taste though. I also found Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day utterly disappointing, and that one was almost universally loved as well.)

Vintage Reading said...

lethe, I enjoyed Bridget Jones when it was published, whether it will stand the test of time remains to be seen. Like you, I didn't enjoy Miss Pettigrew - thought it was daft!

Kristina, the Sue Gee wasn't a bad book - just a bit too cosy and middle-class for me!

Sarah, I'm two chapters in and I do like Lehmann's style although it requires concentration.

tuesday said...

Hello there,

You've been awarded the Primo Darios award. Thank you for your valuable contribution to the blogging community :)

Jennifer Dee said...

My first read of the year was 'The Echoing Grove' by Rosamond Lehmann; I've been wanting to read one of her books for ages, particularly, after reading her biography by Selina Hastings. But I have to say I was disapointed by it and I don't quite know why. It just didn't grab me. I particularly like the'feminine middlebrow' it one of my favourtie genres, but this one wasn't for me.

ravenousreader said...

Nicola, I share your interest in reading contemporary literature written by women. I enjoy Sue Miller, Gail Godwin, Eleanor Lipman (just to name a few!)

I'm putting the Lehmann book on my list immediately.

Vintage Reading said...

tuesday, thank you so much, you've made my day!

Jennifer, I've been told that Dusty Answer is one of Lehmann's best books so I might try that next. Yes, early-mid 20th century novels by women writers are the best!

ravenousreader, I would certainly recommend the Lehmann. Thank you for visiting.