Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Rumour of heaven (Lehmann) 256
No, not Rosamund Lehmann whose books I covered earlier this year (see here and here) but her sister Beatrix. I wondered if they were related when I acquired this VMC in a bundle from ebay, and the introduction told me so. Beatrix was more famous as an actress, but she wrote two novels, including Rumour of heaven which was published as a VMC.
The book starts with the ballerina Miranda Mirova; hugely successful and married to William Peacock. However, almost immediately she has the first of three children, Clare, later joined by Hector and Viola, and never dances again. She descends into madness and dies and Clare is left trying to hold the family together. Hector is semi-feral and Viola inhabits an imaginery world which she can barely distinguish from her favourite book, Wuthering Heights.
I found it difficult to identify with any of the characters in this book, and I also found it hard to follow what was happening, so it wasn't one of my favourite reads.
According to the introduction, Rosamund was somewhat scathing about her sister's abilities as a novelist and even made a veiled aside about her in one of her novels. I have to say that I am a big fan of Rosamund Lehmann and this book wasn't as good as any of hers; however it would be unfair to make a comparison to her sister, since I don't compare every other VMC to Rosamund Lehmann's works!
Just the one cover above; I wonder if the picture is supposed to evoke the character Clare - I don't think it can possibly be a representation of Miranda.