Thursday, January 10, 2008

Review: Summer Half by Angela Thirkell

I do so love the wonderful set of books comprising the Barsetshire chronicles by Angela Thirkell. Summer Half is not too far into the series but as all her books, may be read out of order (unless you are seriously quirky like me and must read in order). This particular book focuses on Colin Keith, Tony Morland, Rose Birkett and several others. Colin, not wanting to be a further financial burden on his father, decides to apply for a job in a boy's public school during the short summer term. here he comes in contact with Tony Morland, who is quite the young man now and with the self-centered and rather unconsciously entertaining Rose Birkett, who is leading her wildly jealous fiance a merry chase. Half of the story takes place at the school, where Rose is intrigued by Colin, who is entirely unimpressed by her but must try and diplomatically convince Winter, a fellow master and Rose's unhappy fiance, that he wouldn't touch her with a ten foot pole. Thirkell's great strength in these well wrought and thoroughly entertaining books is to capture the minutia of the everday absurd so beautifully and believably. The other half of the book returns the reader to the Keith house and local area and allows the school relationships to be seen outside the distortingly small arena of a boarding school. As are all of Thirkell's books, this made me chuckle, grin, and just warmly enjoy the reading experience. And really, there's little higher praise than that.

1 comment:

  1. I've only just discovered Thirkell, and I'm happy to hear you say that they don't need to be read in order - they're turning out to be a little hard to find!


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