Thursday, January 15, 2015

2 for A Century of Books

The Vet's Daughter by Barbara Comyns

"...if she had been a dog , my father would have destroyed her."

 Alice lives with her cowed and frightened mother and her brutal, sometimes violent father (the vet) in a bleak London suburb. The only joy in her miserable home life are the stories her mother tells of her childhood in Wales.
After her mother's death and the arrival of a wicked stepmother Alice leaves home to care for the mother of a friend and there is hope that she will at last be able to lead a normal life and find happiness.

The Vet's Daughter has been on my Classics Club list since the beginning - I've read many posts about it and it's always intrigued me. After reading it I am reserving judgement on Barbara Comyns as I think I need to reread this one or try something else.
I loved the first part. Alice's narration has a unique voice, the writing is simple but wonderfully descriptive , the story is both heartbreaking and horrifying. It does have a fairytale quality and I wanted the happy ever after ending.
I began to feel unsettled .... " ...and I felt a strange homesickness for no home I'd known.'... when I read those words which gave me a sense of where the story was going and I only skimmed the end chapter so I could say I finished it.
Not the right time for me to read this.

The Classics Club
A Century of Books (1959)

Danger Point by Patricia Wentworth

Miss Silver is returning home from a holiday when a very distressed and frightened young woman jumps into the compartment of her train. Mrs Lisle Jerningham , a newly wed heiress has overheard a conversation that questions the circumstances of her husband's first wife's death and wonders how long it will be before Lisle herself suffers an 'unfortunate accident'.

A promising beginning which sadly never lived up to the promise. Lisle is such a passive and colourless heroine it's impossible to care about her fate and when it's obvious who the villain is.... only one thing is left. The pleasure of Miss Silver's company!
But she doesn't make another appearance until over halfway through the book and when she does takes very little part in solving the case. 

A Century of Books (1942)


  1. Bummer! At least you can console yourself with the fact that they are easy reads. And at least you can cross a couple of books off a couple of challenges. Poor consolations, I know, but hopefully your next read will knock your socks off. I'm having great luck in 2015 so far. I hope it holds.

    1. Most of what I've been reading has been great which is probably why these two were disappointing - they were perfectly readable but not quite up to the mark.