Skip to main content

Review: Love's Shadow, by Ada Leverson

Pages: 225

Original date of publication: 1908

My edition: 2010 (Bloomsbury Group)

Why I decided to read: it was offered through LTER

How I acquired my copy: blogger giveaway, May 2010

Love’s Shadow is a very short novel about a group of upper-class people living in Edwardian London. There are Bruce and Edith Ottley; Hyacinth Verney, a local debutante; Cecil Reeve, an eligible bachelor; Anne Yeo, Hyacinth’s companion, who imagines herself to be an elderly spinster (although she’s no more than thirty); and others.

The biggest problem I had with this novel is that there doesn’t seem to be much of a plot. The pace picks up at the end of the book, when a misunderstanding threatens Hyacinth and Cecil’s happiness; but the book is more a series of character studies than anything else. However, the characters aren’t very well fleshed out (with the exception of Bruce, who’s a fantastic bore and I can’t really understand why Edith stays with him).

The potential for the novel is there, it just doesn’t hinge together well. Hyacinth and Cecil’s marriage occurs halfway through the book, and so the rest of their relationship seems very anticlimactic to me. The concept of loving someone while still living in the shadow of that person’s love for someone else is interesting, but I just didn’t like the way that the book played out. The book is set in London, but really it could have taken place anywhere for all the description the author gives us. Overall, the book feels very dated (eg, the author’s use of the word “flapper” to describe various young women in this story; it probably didn’t mean the same thing at the time the book was written as it did in the 1920s). It’s disappointing because I wanted to like this book so much, but it didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it.


Popular posts from this blog

2015 Reading

1. The Vanishing Witch, by Karen Maitland
2. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
3. Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg
4. Brighton Rock, by Graham Green
5. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
6. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
7. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
8. A Movable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
9. A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
10. Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote
11. Maggie-Now, by Betty Smith

1. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate, by Cynthia Lee
4. Music For Chameleons, by Truman Capote
5. Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
6. Unrequited, by Lisa Phillips
7. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
8. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather

1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
2. Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Miss Buncle's Book, by DE Stevenson
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garc…

2016 Reading

1. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
2. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
3. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
4. Liar: A Memoir, by Rob Roberge

1. The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy
2. Girl in the Woods, by Aspen Matis
3. She Left Me the Gun, by Emma Brockes
4. Because of the Lockwoods, by Dorothy Whipple
5. The Chronology of Water, by Lidia Yuknavitch
6. To Show and to Tell, by Philip Lopate

1. Fierce Attachments, by Vivian Gornick
2. Too Brief a Treat, by Truman Capote
3. On the Move: a Life, by Oliver Sacks
4. The Go-Between, by LP Hartley
5. The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr
6. Giving Up the Ghost, by Hilary Mantel
7. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
8. The Great American Bus Ride, by Irma Kurtz
9. An Unquiet Mind, by Kay Radfield Jamison
10. A Widow's Story, by Joyce Carol Oates
11. So Sad Today, by Melissa Broder
12. The Liar's Club, by Mary Karr
13. An American Childhood, by Annie Dillard
14. So Sad Today, by Melissa Broder

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972Originally published: 1944My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press)How I acquired my copy:, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…