MIRROR OF A DEAD LADY by Helen Douglas Irvine


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Quality writing for a somewhat tenuous story -- the brief life of Sylvia Dundas. She knew in childhood that she and her sister were illegitimate and she allowed destiny to take its way with her, with no protest, no rebellion. Excusing her too casual parents, she goes to Chile as a poor relation, while her sister, sure of her own higher destiny, stays in France. Scenes of pre-war interest in Paris, in London, in Chile form the background for Sylvia's acquiescence to the misbehaviour of others, -- her indifferent mother, her clannish aristocratic Chilean relations, who shunted her from one to another, her husband, who loved her until the death of their son, failure of his plan and wrecking of his business. An ill-starred life -- but Sylvia's passivity is annoying to the reader, and she fails to win the sympathy that fiction demands for a central character. This has less distinction than Fray Mario, but is easier -- and perhaps more popular -- in its appeal to the average reader. Limited at best to the discriminating.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1940
Publisher: Longmans, Green