Friday, July 7, 2017

Love for Lydia / H. E. Bates



In my opinion, this is a sad book about love.  It reminded me of some of the Thomas Hardy books I read in my teens:  no joy.  The writing is beautiful and descriptive.  Bates paints the colors, sounds, and smells of the small town of Evensford, England, so well that we can see, hear, and smell the world of Love for Lydia.

Juliana and Bertie Aspen are two aging sisters who live on the family estate with their brother Rollo.  They don't normally associate with the townspeople.  But their niece, Lydia, comes to live with them and they determine not to keep her isolated from other young people.  Richardson (I don't think we ever get his first name), the narrater, comes to the house to get a story about Lydia for the town newspaper.  Juliana and Bertie recruit him to spend time with Lydia.

Lydia and Richardson fall in love.  At least Richardson falls in love with Lydia.  She asks him if he'll love her even if she's bad to him.  He says yes, but she eventually tries his love to the extreme.  She goes from being a shy young girl to a flirtatious and unpredictable, fun loving young woman.  Richardson introduces her to his friends.  The men fall for Lydia as Lydia happily collects them all.

Tragedy lies ahead for several of the friends, and for Lydia, too.

4 comments:

  1. I haven't read anything by Bates and have often wondered if I should. I'm not sure about this one, but have you read any of his more cheerful books?

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    1. This is the first book by H. E. Bates that I've read. I was under the impression that his books were happier. I will give him another chance when I run into something that looks more cheerful.

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  2. Sounds depressing! Why do the fun-loving women always have to have a tragedy? Why can't they have a happy ending now and then?

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    1. It was depressing. The whole way through, I had a feeling that things were not going to turn out well. I don't know why fun loving ladies can't live happily ever after either.

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