Aside from being ex library, Hardcover copy is in good, solid, condition, DJ is nice under mylar, unmarked text, a good copy. We take great pride in accurately describing the condition of our books, ship within 48 hours and offer a 100% money back guarantee.
First Edition USA , so stated. Near Fine in Near Fine DJ: Both book and DJ show only minute indications of use. The Book's binding is very slightly off square, but remains perfectly secure; the text is clean. The DJ shows some mild rubbing; just a touch of wear to the upper corner tips and head of the backstrip; the price has not been clipped; mylar-protected. Overall, very close to 'As New'. Not a Remainder, showing a black mark at bottom edge. Not a Book-Club Edition. Not an Ex-Library copy. 8vo. 245pp. Deckle Fore-edge. Maroon Quarter cloth with author's gilt intiials at the front of the black panels. Hardback with DJ. Aroon St Charles, aged 57, tells us of the first thirty years or so of her life. She was born before the first World War into an Anglo-Irish Protestant landed family living near Limerick. She had a cold, unkind, selfish and unresponsive mother. Her father was inarticulately fond of his daughter, but his life was otherwise wrapped up with horses and dogs, even when, later, he lost one leg in the war. As a child Aroon (a surprisingly unconventional name for such a convention-bound family) loved Mrs Brock, the governess, a lovely character who had come to teach her and her younger brother Hubert. She had previously worked for the Massingham family, friends of the St Charles family, and the children are fascinated by the stories she told of the Massinghams, whose three boys-Richard, Sholto and Raymond-Mrs Brock had tutored previously. She had loved it there, but had had to leave them because her philistine employers thought she was making the boys sensitive to poetry instead of taking a manly interest in horses and other vigorous pursuits. For the first sixty pages she dominates the book, so that we think she will be its central character. She won't be-though memories of turn up occasionally to haunt her former charges. Instead, the tougher character of Rose, the cook, will play an increasingly important part. Aroon and Hubert grow up, best friends: he good-looking, she too tall for most men; but he makes sure she is part of the social life of the country gentry centred around Horse Show balls. The Massingham-St Charles family friendship is carried on into the next generation, when Richard Massingham, as glamorous as Hubert, becomes the latter's most intimate friend. Hubert encourages a threesome; Richard comes to stay during the Cambridge vacation; and shy, awkward, too-big-bosomed Aroon falls in love with him. There will be bliss and pain in these relationships-all exquisitely described. I must not reveal how now one blow falls after another-upon the family and upon Aroon in particular. She does her best to cope; she has a need to help and to be needed, to love and to be loved; but, as before, she often feels hurtfully excluded. She suffers one humiliation after another-and again good behaviour means that she must not show it. Molly Keane's prose is superb; her period details (clothes, households) are excellent; her characterizations a wonderful blend of subtlety and caricature. She shows us the life of families where "good behaviour" was a carapace behind which its characters stifled or were made to stifle the expression of all feelings, where deep emotions must not be shown at or-in family privacy-after funerals. At the very end Aroon's psychological burdens are unexpectedly lifted; but until then the suffering in this book is almost too painful to read.
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