Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Orlando Trilogy (Colegate)


First of all an apology; mumps got into the way of me getting on with my VMC TBR and getting through 4 books as planned last week. Should not make promises! But I am back, and with a lesser known VMC that I have found really rather readable and enjoyable!

As the title suggests, The Orlando trilogy, is comprised of 3 books, telling the story of Orlando and his family throughout the 1930s where they wield considerable power, and then their decline as we move towards the 1950s. The first book, Orlando King, is a retelling of the Oedipus story - Orlando is brought up on a remote island by a friend of his mothers, and eventually returns to England where he finds his biological father, and ends up marrying his stepmother after his father dies. In the second book, Orlando at the brazen threshold, the action shifts to Italy where Orlando has moved, and he is joined by his 17 year old daughter. He reads the diaries of the man who brought him up in an effort to understand where he came from. Finally Agatha tells the story of his daughter after Orlando has died, she moves back to England.

They are fascinating stories of society in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s and I enjoyed the book far more than I was expecting to.

This is Colegate's only VMC, and it's just been published the once by Virago with a modern green cover. I rather like the angle at which the car is photographed and it certainly makes me think of the 1930s. Isabel Colegate I think is probably more famous for her novel The shooting party, a book that I have only heard of and not read, but something I would now like to read.

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