First, I want to say—I fell in love with this book—I love all of Paula Fox’s books that I’ve found so far—each one is special in its own way—they are treasures to be found; they are treasures to be shared.
“Don’t pay much attention to what people say. Then, someday, you’ll find out what you think yourself. Try to go to what is new as innocently as you can—let the surprise of it take you first.” – from Page 37
Everyone should approach a book they’ve never read before with this innocence—I made myself at home with the vivid assortment of characters and enjoyed my all too brief visit—I didn’t want it to end—a trip that went by much too fast. When it did end, it was with the sense of life goes on as it should. Paula Fox makes writing seem so easy (but I know better than that.) It’s simple yet complex; its haunting gritty reality is tender, even the worst of the worst of the human flaws and frailties are treated with sensitivity that allows them to be forgiven or blithely overlooked because people are mysterious creatures and who are we to judge? Yet there is the other element that is cruel and unforgiving, the carved in stone social morals that pry into private lives and judge with a sneer, thus leaving characters anxiously looking over their shoulders, wondering when—if—why—oh, how come? Painful but true. Humans are miserable wretches—there’s not much nice about them (yes, even the nice ones are far from perfect), they stink, they’re mean, they’re pitiful, they’re nasty creatures—until you come to this realization, I swear to you, everything will be all right—yet never the same.
“I don’t believe people can look at themselves very clearly, do you? No one is free enough. How do you leap out of your own nature and look down at it? Laws may be the nearest human beings get to self-criticism.” – page 94
Life goes on as it should.