FAVORITE OF THE GODS by Sybille Bedford
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The many admirers of Mrs. Bedford's first novel- A Legacy (1957) will again find here that remarkable sense of a time past which is still very much alive. With grace and composure her story fluctuates through several European milieus which are far more than a montage for the events at hand and which convey the inflections, social, political and intellectual, of the time before and after World War I. The golden girl of the title is Constanza, born into a protected, privileged world as the daughter of a wealthy, cultivated American- Anna, and an Italian prince. There are the ""seamless years"" of her youth in Rome until Anna, a forceful, willful and sometimes wrongheaded woman, refusing to accept her husband's infidelity, chooses instead exile in England and the loneliness of her intransigeant pride. There Constanza, with her lovely looks and animation, continues to lead a charmed life of many interests and affairs which are an easygoing exchange of camaraderie and sensuality. Largely to please her mother she marries Simon, later to please Simon she agrees to the divorce which is followed by a year of ""alien desolation"" and time the awareness of so much promise wasted as well as the diminishing returns of newexperiences which can only echo the old. Through the contrast and the counterpoint of the two lives, Anna with her too fixed demands upon her world, Constanza as she moves freely- casually through life, the book achieves a mobile fascination. It is a novel of considerable taste and pleasure, filled with worldly nuances and subtle recognitions.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1963
ISBN: 1582431582
Publisher: Simon & Schuster