VOYAGE OF INNOCENCE (2005) is Elizabeth Edmondson's second novel.
In a nut-shell:
1938. Mrs. Verity "Vee" Hotspur travels is - via ocean liner - on her way to India - when she suddenly disappears.
Aboard are also Vee's cousin Claudia and Vee's best friend, the American Lavender - called "Lally". Due to a
rough sea most passengers have time to abandon themselves to sea sickness and memories - which means for us, dearest fellow readers: chance to read about Vee's years at Grace College (kind of ladies section at Oxford - if I translate that in the right way..) beginning in 1932 - which she spent with Claudia and Lally.
The three girls are quite different - not just in their personality but also in their political beliefs - though Lally's function in this is quasi the neutral position:
While Vee is sympathetic to the communists party - which means first and foremost sealing envelopes for the commrades (- women in 1930 weren't that much in leading positions it seems ;") - but Vee won't be sealing envelopes for long.. Moscow has some plans.. but: shush! Mum's the word!) Claudia is all for Oswald Mosley and his fascists...
Okay... You might remember that Elizabeth Edmondson is one of my favourite authors.. - so: No, I won't be objective ~ oh.. please! As if I ever was... ~
To start with - just a short notice: Jane Austen is mentioned in this novel. Good? I certainly think so. ;")
VOYAGE OF INNOCENCE is much more political than I ever expected it to be. And to be honest: some of the enthusiastic political active young men are as much blathering as I experienced in real life. Same discussions, same ignorance and same putting down of everything you (or anyone else) is saying against them - yes, I was partly a bit bugged.. Just because this awoke so much of my own memories - but I noticed that behaviour not only on political active men and not only towards me.. ;")
However - what really surprised me was that this novel became more and more of a secret agent story - not James Bond like and no fancy gimmicks or something - but very enthralling. And I have to confess that I am no real fan of Mr. Bond, James Bond - well, I wasn't.. To be true: Thanks to a very good friend I just started to become interested in Bond films.. so who knows.. Maybe someday you'll find a series of Bond-novel-reviews here, too.. ;")
Those of you who have read Elizabeth Edmondson's first novel FROZEN LAKE (read about it HERE - if you like to do so..) will be maybe happy to meet Perdita Richardson again as a passagener on this trip to India. She has no big part in this book - so you don't have to read FROZEN LAKE first.. I - for one - love to meet old aquaintances from other books again.. I think it's kind of nice..
This time I just adore the German cover:
Isn't that just gorgeous???!??
The German title is EIN MÄDCHEN AUS BESTER GESELLSCHAFT which means "A girl of best society".
This novel might be the most wearisome reading of all of Elizabeth Edmondson's books so far - this shouldn't alienate you - just a little warning.. ;")
Who of you likes to read some intelligent "women's literature"
~ gosh.. I hate that.. - like women's literature was just the cupcake of literary bakery: super sweet, screaming pink and not very satiably - yes, I don't like cupcakes so much.. ~ yuck! ~ not that I won't read a romance at times.. uhm.. where was I?... ah.. yes: ~
Those who like to read a novel with a bit more political content (not only - don't be scared..) - and to learn a bit more about British fascists - those should grab this book.
Heck, yes! Abortion, (anti-)fascism , homosexuality, suicide, espionage - some hot potatoes in here..
Well, the young ladies definitively have sex. Not in detail - but for sure. Oh - and premarital, too.. ~ just saying it.. Don't want anyone to faint when he/she grabs this novel.. ;"p ~
This book fits into what I declared to be Historical Fiction at this blog
- and that way also into the
Thank you all for listening - and sorry for my oh-so-long absence here..
I am back - well, at least I hope so..