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Review: The Lost Traveller, by Antonia White


Pages: 314
Original date of publication: 1950
My edition: 1979 (Virago)
Why I decided to read: For All Virago/All August
How I acquired my copy: April 2012, from an LT member

The Lost Traveller is a continuation of the story that was told in Frost in May; although the names have changed (“Nanda” is now “Clara”), the characters are essentially the same. When her grandfather passes away, Clara is sent home from her convent school. The reader watches her grow into adulthood, strongly influenced by her Catholic parents, while the first world war rages. The Lost Traveller is the first of a proper trilogy that continues with The Sugar House and Beyond the Glass.

 Clara has a rather intense relationship with her parents, particularly her father, and a lot of the novel focuses on how she struggles with reconciling her childhood with her future, as uncertain as it is. As with Antonia White’s other novels, the theme and story are based on personal experience; White was heavily influenced by her Catholic upbringing, as is Clara. There’s more fiction in The Lost Traveller than there is in Frost in May (Clara’s relationship with Charles is an example). Therefore, the characters are much more fully developed and seen more objectively from the reader’s point of view. When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be yet another coming of age story, but I was pleasantly surprised. There’s so much depth to the story and its implications.


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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…