Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The thinking reed (West)

I'm slightly indifferent about Rebecca West. I've enjoyed some of her books; her Fountain overflows trilogy was quite a good read, and I am looking forward to getting hold of a copy of The return of the soldier. But I didn't really "get" Harriet Hume, and I felt similarly about The thinking reed; the story just didn't grab me at all.

The thinking reed is the story of Isabel, an American who leaves for Paris in 1928 in search of love, and ideally a husband. She has three potential suitors, but ends up marrying Marc. I suppose the themes were quite similar to Harriet Hume, principally the differences between men and women, and it seems that West is suggesting that these can never be reconciled.

Published just the once with an original green cover which I own.


  1. oh dear, this is another one of the Viragos I received from bookmooch. It's still on my To-be-read pile and I think it will be staying there for a while.

  2. If you want to enjoy Rebecca West's writing, try her non-fiction, especially Black Lamb & Grey Falcon. Don't be put off by the size - it's funny, insightful, and extraordinarily agile in subject matter.

  3. I didn't know she'd written non fiction too - thanks for the heads up Helen.