Monday, 20 June 2011

Love in a Cold climate and Other Novels - Nancy Mitford

Synopsis - Polly Hampton has long been groomed for the perfect marriage by her mother, the fearsome and ambitious Lady Montdore. But Polly, with her stunning good looks and impeccable connections, is bored by the monotony of her glittering debut season in London. Having just come from India, where her father served as Viceroy, she claims to have hoped that society in a colder climate would be less obsessed with love affairs. The apparently aloof and indifferent Polly has a long-held secret, however, one that leads to the shattering of her mother’s dreams and her own disinheritance. When an elderly duke begins pursuing the disgraced Polly and a callow potential heir curries favor with her parents, nothing goes as expected, but in the end all find happiness in their own unconventional ways. (Taken from Goodreads Love in a Cold Climate)

Review -This book contains three stories, the first is The Pursuit of Love.  Both the first and second (Love in a Cold Climate) stories are taken from Fanny's account of her cousins.  The first, Linda from Alconleigh and the second Polly Montdore.  The final story is The Blessing and is independant of the others, the only link being the name of French aristocrat, Fabrice Sauveterre which comes up in all three novellas.

The books are all about the lives of  upper class families and are very light, fluffy and rather banal.  Mitford does give us a laugh with her witty take on their lives.  She is having a ball taking the mick out of these self-obsessed and insular people.  All the characters are quite different and very amusing, you can imagine that they are based on real lives.

Personally, I found the books much of a muchness and once I had read one I felt I had read them all.  I wouldn't go out of my way to read any more of her books.  I prefer a story to have some grit and depth,  these were very light and only mildly entertaining.  Mitford writes well within her means but for me there is not enough substance.  2*

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