quinta-feira, setembro 08, 2016

Hanging On, Diaries 1960-1963, by Frances Partridge

I was not expecting much of this volume of Frances Partridge's diaries, convinced they would get less interesting as they became farther from the golden age of Bloomsbury - since Frances Partridge's claim to fame is mostly as a witness and friend of the Bloomsbury set. I was pleasantly surprised - this volume deals with the loss and mourning of her husband and her happy marital life, and for the first time Frances Partridge becomes the main character, now it's her personality, herself that matters, interesting in her own right. The book depicts the way she coped with her loss and how she endured the mourning period and was able to build herself a new life, not as happy as the one she had lived before, but satisfactory and fulfilling enough, which I think it was quite an achievement. From her diaries, Frances Partridge doesn't strikes us as a particularly intelligent person, nor especially witty or creative; her main quality is warmth, a keen aptitude to enjoy life and friendships, a kindness that must have made her dear to the people who knew her, which it seems to me a wonderful gift in itself.

And so the narration of this woman's life journey, sprinkled here and there with some Bloomsbury anecdotes, and also stories about the post-Bloomsbury British literary and cultural set, makes for a very interesting and uplifting reading.

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