This book had funny moments but in thinking about it overall, can only be recorded as an obligation. I am saddened because it was gifted to me by a Dear Friend who enjoyed it enough to purchase a copy for me, which I AM very grateful for. Despite the fact that I could not like it, I do not wish to dissuade D.F. from doing the same on any future occasion. One blot on her otherwise spotless record shall go entirely unnoticed by me, excepting in this review, where I am compelled to be honest (as the Provincial Lady NEVER is).
This reader is definitely ill-suited to enjoy the day to day domesticity of the book: Depressing – verging on abusive by modern standards. Reflect that I am grateful not to be British, and in particular, not British during the 30’s. I did my best to attempt to appreciate it in the context in which it was created, but unlike an Austen Novel, which at least has ups and downs, the monotony of the diary – accurate or satirical – made it read like the stacks of bills that are always on the mind of the Provincial Lady. I am too personally haunted by the spectre of poverty to enjoy her unease about overdrawn bank accounts and polite conflicts with service providers over billing.
Furthermore, I was prevented from enjoyment by the constant French to be figured out from context or looked up, and a format which made hard work of understanding the most basic situations: Why do people keep asking her to speak to them? What does her husband DO all day? Why does she insist on so many ridiculous things, like bulbs, picnics, and social work. All of the lives and activities in the book are cut off abruptly, with no ending…just as a diary would in life, I suppose, but it did not give me any satisfaction to have made it through the book in its entirety.
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