Saturday, 6 February 2010

Book Review: The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

Grade: 5 stars

Novellus Perfectus!

Goodreads appetizer:
Childhood at Alconleigh is scanty preparation for the realities of the outside world and Linda, sweetest and most aimless of the young Radletts, falls prey to a stuffy banker and a rabid communist before she finds her ideal in a Frenchman...
My thoughts: The Pursuit of Love is the 1st in the trilogy written by Nancy Mitford (the 2nd being Love in a Cold Climate and the 3rd Don't Tell Alfred).

Though Love in a Cold Climate is more famous and well-known, I think The Pursuit of Love is the best of the two novels. I found The Pursuit of Love extremely witty, very entertaining and roaring of laughter-funny. It very quickly became one of my favourite novels due to Nancy Mitford's very unique writing style and her exteremly lovable peculiar characters.

I especially loved the first half, when they were children, the picture Nancy Mitford drew of their growing up at Alconleigh with Uncle Matthew's booming voice, always hollering, with Linda's romantic fantasies and crying depression (her suicide attempt after her dog died, I know it should be sad, but that was one part I roared with laughter, it sounded so melodramatic coming from a child of 6 years or so :-D), so that part was such a hilarious, sarcasticly funny in a very realistic and English way.

Then when they were adults and lived their lives with their own husbands, families it became more of a drama, but Linda's character was very entertaining. She is like a butterfly flying from one flower to the other, always seeking the sun (=happily ever after love). She lived in a completely parallel, fantasy world of her own, she was as if she did not have one foot on the ground, head in the clouds, she was as far from reality as one could be.

Then the end.. great end. It suited the book, and left me with a lingering feeling.

Nancy Mitford's writing style is very unique and highly enjoyable. Her dry wit and sarcastic humour reminded me sometimes of Jane Austen, the way she made fun of some of her ridiculous characters (Mrs. Elton in Emma, Mr. Collins or Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice).

This was a brilliant book! Loved it, it had an interesting tone and was highly enjoyable, definitely recommend it! But don't expect some big romance novel, don't let the title fool you in that way. This is more a bittersweet, humourous and yet dramatic novel. But an amazing one!

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10!
Ending: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Cover: 10/10 (it had taken me some time to warm to this cover, but now that I'm familiar with the story and Nancy Mitford's style, I love it, they couldn't have done better!)

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