THE EASTER PARTY by V. Sackville-West


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The fortuitous circumstance of an Easter week-end house party, brings together under Anstey's gracious roof a number of people who should have been close to each other:- Sir Walter and Rose, his wife, who for years had allowed a deliberately contrived marriage to cloak its emptiness; Rose's dowdy sister Lucy; her husband who rarely spoke in his brother-in-law's presence; their son, Robin, lately returned from foreign service; Walter's doctor brother, Gilbert, who knows more than he confesses of the hollowness of his brother's life; Juliet Quarles, whose frivolous amorality cloaks fear and hunger -- and the servants- and the Aleatian Svend, the one creature Walter really loves. Through a slight pattern of plot, climaxing in a fire -- through rather artificial confidences and philosophical soliloquies, rather than through actual effect of individual on individual, one gets surface impressions of several lives, without really digging very deep. And the shock techniques Dr. Gilbert uses to bring Walter to his senses, seem abortive- and of questionable value. Competent but shallow; it will ride on the author's name, but not far.

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 1952
Publisher: Doubleday