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Review: The Weather in the Streets, by Rosamond Lehmann


Pages: 383
Original date of publication: 1936
My edition: 1981 (Virago)
Why I decided to read: It’s on the list of VMCs
How I acquired my copy: Oxfam bookshop, York, UK, September 2011


The Weather in the Streets is the sequel to Invitation to the Waltz, set ten years afterwards. When her father becomes ill, Olivia Curtis returns home, having just been through a disastrous marriage. On the train ride, he runs into an old acquaintance: Rollo Spencer, a married man with whom she has an affair.

I wanted to like this book; I really did. I think the major problem I had with this novel was that I felt so detached from the story and characters. Olivia is a passive observer in the novel, not an active participant, so it was hard for me to really get involved in her story. The thing that threw me off the most was the shift from third person to first person; it’s used intermittently for the first hundred pages or so and in earnest as soon as Olivia’s affair starts. Therefore, I saw the story from the outside rather than from Olivia’s point of view.

Rosamond Lehmann is good at constructing the details of the story, but I really found myself disliking Olivia as a person. Again, I wish I’d liked this book much more than I did!

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2015 Reading

January
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

February
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

March
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…