MEMENTO MORI by Muriel Spark


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With all the characters over seventy, and most in their eighties, this is an excursion into gerontology and senescence which ticks off the foibles, failings and remarkably aware behavior of an elderly English group. There is Charmian, a novelist currently coming back into vogue; her husband Godfrey, whose penchant is garter-viewing; Dr. Warner, an avid note-taker of the vagaries of age; Miss Taylor, privy to old scandals and chained to a nursing home with other ""Grannies"" and all the fuss they make over their care; Mrs. Pettigrew, whose care of Charmian has evil results -- and Godfrey's sister, Lettie, whose mysterious telephone calls, ""Remember you must die"", mean all things to all people. The ingrowing habits; the fading, vivid recall; the sense of an approaching end; the desire, still, for a feeling of power -- and its uselessness; and the untangling of events in the past -- these are cleverly developed against an age bracket whose worldliness is not blunted by its weaknesses.

Pub Date: May 13th, 1959
ISBN: 0811214389
Publisher: Lippincott