Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Latest reading - Vera

I have just finished Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim, which I really enjoyed.  It was the second book I have read by the author (the first was The Enchanted April) and it was almost the complete opposite.  Elizabeth von Arnim was the cousin of Katherine Mansfield, moved in similar literary circles as her cousin and was married unsatisfactorily twice, to a Count and then an Earl.  Her first marriage provided the inspiration for Elizabeth and her German Garden while the second was the inspiration for Vera.  I wonder whether Daphne du Maurier knew this book, because there are some similarities to this story in Rebecca.  However, this book concerns the relationship between a young and innocent twenty-two year old heroine who has just lost her father and the older man who befriends, looks after and then wants to control her.  The reader is drawn in very quietly but can see all the signs that Lucy misses.  In the introduction, it says that the author thought that this was her best book and it certainly kept me totally engrossed.

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