This novel portrays the love - and hate - that can exist between women. Joan's mother binds her daughter to her with hoops of steel, a trap which nothing can spring no career, no man and certainly no woman.
I loved this book so much. It may be the most depressing book I've ever read but it was brilliant! Not knowing much going in really helped. It was about two sisters growing up at the end of the 19th century. Both had dreams, one wanted to go to the RI loved this book so much. It may be the most depressing book I've ever read but it was brilliant! Not knowing much going in really helped. It was about two sisters growing up at the end of the 19th century. Both had dreams, one wanted to go to the Royal Collge of Music and play the violin, the other, a tall thin boyish girl, wanted to study and become a doctor. But they lived in a deadend town with selfish parents.
The characterisation was just perfect. When I read the Well of loneliness I completely identified with Stephen. But when I read this I totally saw my mother in Mrs Ogden. She was selfish, melodramatic, passive-aggressive, needy, snobby, superior. It was almost painful to read. Of course my mother didn't have the obsessive love that Mrs Ogden did, but apart from that. She was truly evil. Then there was Elizabeth the governess who had fallen in love with Joan and just wanted her to live her dreams and move to London with her, and was wonderful and patient but in the end had to salvage her sanity. Milly the younger sister who was meant to be silly but I liked her anyway because she managed to do the things she wanted and was talented and tragic.
And then there was Joan who was the saddest thing ever. Her story was not meant to have ended the way it did. But then this book was a warning to lesbians and other girls that you must have the strength to do the things you want to or life will become unbearable. I think if I had a time travel device I would send this book back to my 16 year old self. But then luckily I was able to leave home and go and live with my best friend and though I worried about leaving my sisters behind I did what was best and it all worked out ok in the end.
But I digress, this book was so beautiful and sad. So full of women struggling against the world, and failing. I loved the not so subtle subtext of the book. The hope that was the two young girls at the end, the randomness of Claudine showing up, the sad tragic lesbians that weren't able to find happiness because they wanted to live in London together instead of getting married and how no one understood that. Except perhaps the man who wanted to marry Joan and understood the terrible way people clung to each other and stopped them doing the things they wanted to do.
In a way I'm sad I read this in January as I don't think I'm going to read a book I love as much as this for the rest of the year. ...Continua Nascondi