Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Don't recommend this book to your mother. It's 1962 England, and two virgins, Florence and Edward, have just begun their honeymoon in a resort inn. Somehow their marriage has, in their minds, plunged them into adulthood and freedom, following their chaste, almost Victorian-style romance. However, from a sexual standpoint, Florence is completely unprepared and disgusted by the thought of penetration. Edward, on the other hand, has refrained from self-pleasuring for a week, which, for him, is a lengthy abstinence. He is beside himself with lust, but some of his crude pre-marriage advances caused weeks of sulking on Florence's part, so that he is understandably cautious. This book is so short that it's hard to say much without giving away the climax, pun intended. Suffice it to say that there's a major communication breakdown between these two, perhaps reflective of their socio-economic gap. Florence is an ambitious violinist from a chilly but wealthy family, while Edward has had a rural upbringing and is somewhat directionless and volatile. I'm not sure what the author is trying to say here, except that perhaps Florence is more buttoned-up and Edward more emotionally transparent because of their backgrounds, but I don't really think those stereotypes lend much to the story. More to the point is that they both seem to suffer from the common delusion that their partner is a mindreader. Certainly they have not yet learned that marriage means constantly having to say you're sorry while you gulp down your pride.

1 comment:

Terry said...

Patti - how funny that your first sentence is "don't recommend this to your mother." MY mother recommended it to ME. Thank goodness I didn't take her recommendation - your review makes me absolutely not want to read this at all. Thanks for doing the work for me.