JOURNEY FROM THE NORTH by Storm Jameson

JOURNEY FROM THE NORTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Personal if not intimate, reflective if not deeply so, scourgingly honest while admitting that insincerity was a lesson learned very early on, always regretting an inability to love enough while toward the end looking ""for that minute in which to be kind"" -- thus this seemingly all-inclusive (800 pages) autobiography of Storm Jameson. On the physical surface, it spans three eras from well before World War I to now, her two marriages (the first to a young man who assured her he would make her unhappy), the continuous writing of the ""minor writer that I am,"" her work for the P.E.N. Club, and her passionate pacifism and great involvement with the victims of Hitler's Germany. And also while declaring that she was only fit to live alone and worthless in society, she moves among the figures of her time with ease -- Rebecca West, Galsworthy, Priestley, Rose Macaulay, Wells, and so forth. Defects there are: the sometimes plumed prose which will permit her to say that she has written ""a gloriously bad novel"" or now pen a line like ""The curve of a coastline, of a gull's wing, the whiteness of a white petal."" At no time does she have the commanding presence of Enid Bagnold (p. 662). But at all times she is sufficiently interesting to secure the attention of her long retained readership and occasionally she touches on emotions she is hesitant about disturbing. If as the French say one never reaches death without a dowry, Storm Jameson has indeed left a handsome legacy.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1970
Publisher: Harper & Row