AN UNAVOIDABLE DELAY by Diana Athill

AN UNAVOIDABLE DELAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a collection of fourteen short stories by an English author. For the most part the stories deal with ordinary, upper-middle-class people taken out of their own worlds for a while, either through travel or by single incidents, which, unremarkable in themselves, assume sudden and startling importance. Several of these characters, for instance in the title story, are Englishwomen who, in the absence of their husbands, are indulging themselves in brief and therfore hopeless affairs with strange and romantic men. But instead of these flings having a deteriorating effect on the marriages the principals return renewed in spirit, or at least seeing things with a new eye. The tone of the book is generally sophisticated -- whether the author is revealing an aging roue's desperate lovemaking or a young girl dissolving in the romance of her first big dance. But partly because of this attitude and partly because of the author's emotional distance from the experiences she is describing the stories are ultimately unengaging.

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday