PROVINCIAL DAUGHTER by R. M. Dashwood

PROVINCIAL DAUGHTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The daughter of the late E. M. Delafield (Diary of a Provincial Lady and a delight back in the '30's) turns to the diary form for Janet's laments over her single-handed housekeeping, her unkept resolves, ""my wasted life"" and her failures as wife and mother. The daily domesticity here involves her doctor husband (charming but a disastrous do-it-yourself-er), her three sons (of whom Ben, 3, is known as the Trappist from his reluctance to talk), her neighbors and better friends, the coming of Greta, a German helper (often more of a hindrance), local amateur theatricals, efforts at writing, the promise of work with the BBC, and the expected parade of uncharming, unavoidable chores. Between the bicker and buss with her husband, the dentist, the overwhelming thoughts of educating the boys, the shopping and the gossip, the excursions into possible future projects (goats, nut trees, etc.) her figure and clothes and hair, are her contrite attempts to live up to her dream of herself and the unpredictable successes that she sometimes achieves. British this is, but internationally commonplace too, and many a despondent alternate number here will find humor and identification with this soap (and vinegar) opera.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1961
Publisher: Simon & Schuster