Friday, 26 February 2010
Pirates at play (Trefusis) 416
From actual pirates, to a book with pirates in the title. In some ways, Pirates at Play by Trefusis, is similar to the other Trefusis book that I have read and reviewed for this project, Hunt the slipper. The introduction claims that "Pirates at Play" was an apt title for a novel by a social pirate who played with people and places on the page with the relentless fliratiousness that she applied to her own life", and like Hunt the slipper it is surely autobiographical.
A romantic comedy, set in the 1920s, it tells the story of Elizabeth Caracole who is sent to a Florentine family of a Papal count to be finished, joining another girl Vica, and her five brothers. It is hugely entertaining, for example, the book opens with Vica, one of the count's family, wondering whether they should create their own coat of arms, and what should appear on it. Since her father is also the papal dentist, she wonders if it should contain a tooth enclosed by the papal tiara!
So much of it was laugh out loud funny, such as when the Italians prepare for Elizabeth's arrival:
"I would remind you bambini," said Countess Papagalli, sentiously, that the English are inclined to be fussy about baths. Yes, I am well aware that your father sticks all his dental negatives on the walls of one bathroom and that Gina sleeps in the other".
I loved it - in fact I think I want to coin a new term to describe it (and hopefully other VMCs) - VMCC-lit - Virago Modern Classic Chick Lit - i.e. a frothy, entertaining but ultimately intelligent read.
According to the introduction, " "Pirates at Play" was an apt title for a novel by a social pirate who played with people and places on the page with the relentless fliratiousness that she applied to her own life"