Tuesday, 1 March 2011
The fly on the wheel (Thurston)
Another day, another Virago modern classic - this time The fly on the wheel by Katherine Cecil Thurston. And a book that I found very typical of original green Viragos; I'm not sure how to explain it but sometimes one feels that books are particularly original green Virago-ish and this was one of them.
Set in the late 19th century (Victorian - check), in the village of Waterford (village - check), the blurb describes it as a "vivid portrait of social behaviour" (social behaviour them - check) "among the Catholic middle classes" (religious element - check). It centres around the character of Isabel Costello (even the name of the heroine felt particularly VMCish) who has become engaged (marital relationship - check) to Frank, a young doctor. But his brother Stephen intervenes (the path of love is never smooth - check) as Frank lacks money and Isabel has none bestowed on her either.
Things got a little more interesting and untypical when Isabel and Stephen who is married with children fall in love, but I couldn't help feel that Thurston was almost writing to a formula, or that Virago republished this book because it fitted in with her formula. Maybe I am being a little unfair to this book...I enjoyed it, but somehow it felt like so many of the books that I have already read for this challenge.
Thurston, the author, only wrote two novels, dying early (promising career cut short - check) and this is her only VMC.
It's just been published once, in the original green cover version, which I own.