Summer Half

by Angela Thirkell

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I was so hoping this would be a Thirkell that I could wholeheartedly recommend, as I found the beginning very amusing. Minor character Edith reminded me greatly of a family member of my husband’s who never listens properly!

“Well,” said Colin, “I went over to Southbridge today and saw the headmaster. I think…”

“I don’t know him well but I know his wife,” said Edith, “She is charming. My brothers were there when Mr Birkett was the headmaster of the preparatory school, and they adored him.”

“I liked him very much. We had quite a long talk and he said…”

“Then you can give me really good advice about sending Henry there…”

You get the idea!

There were parts that showed a quite magical England in the countryside.

But the book for me had three faults;

• The supposed main character Colin was the least interesting in the book.

• Nothing much happened for very long periods of time.

• A piece of really appalling racism in Chapter 6. Normally I am very good at shrugging this stuff off as a product of it’s time, but this was really bad & frankly, really unnecessary.

I could still laugh at dim bulb Rose & I do hope to meet the outspoken Lydia again some time, but I have had to reduce the rating for this book.

A pity. The parts I enjoyed, I enjoyed very much.

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