Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The little Ottleys (Leverson) 98

I stumbled upon The little Ottleys in Oxfam a while ago, not realising that it contained a trilogy of novels by Ada Leverson, the first of which, Love's Shadow, was republished by Bloomsbury in their Bloomsbury Group collection of books last year, and which I had already read (and not hugely enjoyed). But I did get on and read my way through the rest of it.

The trilogy is concerned with the characters Edith and Bruce, and their marriage. We meet them fairly newly married, in the first book, and then follow their life together, which involves affairs and the realisation that perhaps their marriage isn't all they hoped for. Leverson's writing is humorous, particularly in the first book, with more than a little bit of farce, but somehow I didn't feel it really worked.

Just published once by Virago with an original green cover.


  1. This sounds very interesting. What with Parade's End and Two People, I have been reading a lot about marriage recently and this sounds like another valuable contribution - thank you for sharing Verity!


  2. Sorry this wasn't better for you. I adore Ada Leverson as a person, but I haven't had any chance to read her books.

  3. I struggled a little bit with the Ottleys too, and in fact only got through the first book. Bits of it I liked, but Bruce was so damn awful it was hard to understand why Edith would ever have married him - it just didn't feel right to me. I will pick up and finish it eventually, I know others who love it, but it's time isn't now for me either.