THE EXCHANGE OF JOY by Isabel Quigly


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A sometimes improbable idyll of passion spent- and unrepented-follows English Celia through her affair With the Italian poet, Arcangelo, during a year spent away from her husband on the Italian Riviera. There Celia, a young, devoted and domesticated wife, ""breathes the utterly foreign air of infidelity"" and quickly abandons herself to the lyrical charm of Arcangelo- and the whole sequence of seduction,- from the first thoughts which are disquieting and hesitant, to its later fulfillment which is ecstatic and untroubled by conscience,- is gracefully recorded. Nothing impedes the progress of this passion; not the censure of the old retainer who takes care of her two small children; not the thoughts that she must return home- for Arcangelo cannot be confined by any demands; but it seems to be doubly blessed- as Arcangelo writes a new volume of poetry, and Celia bears his child. A benevolent Oxford don, who has given this union his protective sanction, offers to take the baby-and as their days together near their end, they face a rather formless future in which nothing is concluded.... The suspension of morality here extends to credulity as well- Miss Quigly disposes of this love-child in an unlikely fashion, but there's a certain captivation to Celia and her poet which may touch a feminine following.

Pub Date: July 28th, 1955
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace