"The day promised to be hot"...
After the beautiful weather we had on Wednesday last week, I decided that it was time to read One fine day by Mollie Panter-Downes. I got it out first thing whilst killing time at the surgery, and noticed out of the corner of my eye that the rain had started to pour down - my day did not promise to open in the same way as the book had. However, this is a wonderful book to read I think as either the accompaniment to a very hot day, or on a rainy day when one has forgotten what the sun looks like. The book is set on a hot summer's day in 1946, just after the Second World War has finished, and tells the story of Laura by describing her life on that day.
Much of the book is devoted to describing how things have changed as a result of the war, and one sees Laura wondering whether things will ever be the same again. Will it be possible to get sweets without ration cards? Will the garden ever be tamed? Will she ever have servants and thus no longer have to muddle through with the housework. At the same time, we see how the village in which she lives has been affected by the war, and witness Laura's thankfulness that her family unit has come through unscathed. And ultimately, it is this which enables Laura to look forward to the future.
This is the first Panter-Downes that I have read, although Persephone books have published a number of her titles. I'm intrigued enough to want to go on and read her short stories that they have published, and fortunately own one of the volumes already!
Originally published by Virago in green here, it was re-issued earlier this year with an introduction by Angela Huth, and I bought a copy.