Monday, 23 November 2009

Winter Sonata (Edwards) 205

I wish I had managed to restrain myself from starting Winter Sonata so soon, as set over the months November to March with a Christmas interlude, this would have made perfect Christmas reading fodder. However, the weather when I read it was cold and wet and definitely wintry, so the book fitted the bill perfectly. And I would strongly recommend this book for a winter-time read.

To me, this book felt like a mixture of Jane Austen and Cranford, only brought into the 1920s. Set in a village with a wonderful cast of characters, I could just imagine this being filmed by the BBC. The book tells the stories of a number of the village's inhabitants, centring around Mr Nettles, who has recently moved into the village with his cello and works at the Post Office. One day he sees the beautiful Olivia from the window. Her family invite him for tea and he makes friends with Olivia and her sister Eleanor and their cousin George. Mr Nettles falls in love with Olivia. At the same time we follow the story of the family with whom Mr Nettles lodges with, particularly the teenage daughter of the family Pauline who is the despair of her mother, with a keen interest in boys although she also sings beautifully. It is a book about loneliness and the importance of relationships and attempts to form relationships in order to overcome loneliness.

I was sad to read that this was the only novel published by Edwards. Rhapsody, a collection of short stories, is also published as a Virago Modern Classic, but Edwards committed suicide at the early age of 33 due to struggles with her writing. Very sad indeed.

Just the one Virago edition, above.


  1. That sounds wonderful. I assume it isn't the same Dorothy Edwards who wrote the 'My Naughty Little Sister' books...

  2. I really like the sound of this book.

    Pity when talented artists commit suicide due to their work not being appreciated enough, or other struggles. It always makes me stop and think about the irony of it all!

  3. Julia - it was a lovely book. And yes, different Dorothy!

    Another cookie - it is very sad when such artists achieve fame after death.