Happening upon Nancy Mitford was, for me, a happy little surprise. I’d read that one of her books, a Christmas one, was recommended by Flavorwire. My library didn’t have that one, but it did have
The Pursuit of Love
By Nancy Mitford
I’m absolutely in love with Mitford’s sentences. Some of them are concise, some possess hidden barbs and others are complex and fascinating.
Louisa was to have two houses, one in London, Connaught Square, and one in Scotland. Her dress allowance would be three hundred a year, she would possess a diamond tiara, a pearl necklace, a motor-car of her own and a fur cape. In fact granted that she could bear John Fort William, her lot was an enviable one. He was terribly dull. (page 70)
The pursuit of love in this book is both romantic and familial. It’s Linda’s (the narrator’s cousin), it’s the Bolter’s (the narrator’s mom) and it’s really each character’s pursuit. Linda wanted so badly not to become just like the Bolter. But upon leaving her second husband and taking up with a French Duke she‘d only just met, she confirmed to the reader, Fanny and her family that she was just the same. She was going to be a problem.
Alfred likes people to be filed neatly away under some heading that he can understand; careerist, social climber, virtuous wife and mother, or adulteress. (page 128)
The Pursuit of Love was witty, smart and surprising. It was, ultimately, a wonderful book. In fact, a near perfect book.
Writing 5 out of 5 stars
As I said, I loved Mitford’s sentences. They were a thing of beauty.
Character Development 5 out of 5 stars
The story had an interesting structure where the narrator was telling her cousin’s story while weaving in her own and the rest of her family’s. In that way, Mitford was able to craft well-developed characters
Storytelling 5 out of 5 stars
Mitford’s story was fascinating, humorous and ultimately very entertaining.
Total 5 out of 5 stars
Have you read any of Mitford’s work? What did you think?