- Now we have an excess of spare royals
, can we trade one or more in marriage for an alliance with Europe?
- Reading, books 2017: 88
86. Summer Visits, by Margery Sharp
, who was 72 when this novel was published in 1977 and clearly had as keen a sense of mischievous humour as ever. An upper middle class, generational, family saga in which everyone's at it like rabbits except the literal rabbits who fail to breed at all, lol. Includes illegitimate children in Victorian rural East Anglia and repeated mention of abortions plus another in abortion in 1919 (two offstage successful, one onstage knitting needle offered, two offstage dead, and one onstage successful exercise-induced miscarriage in a woman who then dies of a tennis injury!). Use of the c-word, twice, and then the f-word as a verb. The family saga continues inimitably through a community of Anglican lay women, a journey to San Domingo (Dominican Republic), and the First World War. All the fifteen adult novels by Margery Sharp that I've read so far are worth reading and not one is formulaic or even predictable except in the broadest terms. (3.5/5 and should be subtitled "Over 70, still trolling for feminism, and the field in which I grow my fucks is barren")
• This caused me to have inner visions of Dante Gabriel Rossetti running amok with a ray gun "; but didn't even the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood disintegrate?"
• On ageing: The tea slopped into the saucer as Margaret's hand shook [with anger]. Then she forgave. Flora was so old; and the old dislike having their emotions touched as much as they dislike any other disturbance.
• Prize for best euphemism: "[...] soon for the ferry."
• Out of context, obv: "For besides he heaped every insult on me for having married an Inglés - he said he would rather be half negrito and stand up for his own people in the coming revolution!" [in the Dominican Republic against US military occupation]
• Interesting words used in connection with a Roman Catholic, Portuguese-descended Dominican, white woman who helps a woman induce a miscarriage (I read them as a ~second wave~ attempt at reclaiming): "the woman from the Voodoo island of San Domingo" buries the "embryo" "under a witch's moon".( Reread. )