Monday, 20 September 2010

Company parade (Storm Jameson)

I didn't especially enjoy my first encounter with Storm Jameson; Women without men, but as part of this challenge, I have to be willing to give some authors several chances as I plan to read all of the Virago Modern Classics, there is no escape! And this is a good thing; whilst I have yet to find a Molly Keane novel that I have really enjoyed, I'm happy to report that Company Parade was a much better read than Women without men.

This novel centres on the character of Hervey, a young woman who comes to London just after the end of the First World War to make her fortune. We learn in due course that she is married, and her husband Penn is in the airforce. We learn also that she has a young son, at home in Yorkshire with her mother, called Richard, who is one of the reasons behind her trip to London to get a job. Penn is difficult to like, seemingly unwilling to look after his wife and child.

Hervey quickly settles down into the job she finds, writing advertisements, although she has also written a novel which is about to be published. She moves out of the hotel where she first stayed into an attic room. She mades friends with Delia, the lady on the first floor, and other friends both at work and outside it.

This book was intended to be the first one in a longish series of books about the same characters under the banner title "Mirror in darkness"; in the event Jameson only wrote two more, Love in winter and None turn back, both of which are published by Virago, and I will be interested to see how she develops the characters and storylines from this volume. This one has just been published once with an original green cover, which I own.


  1. This sounds interesting--I have one of her books on hand, though am not sure which. How many Viragos do you have left to read?

  2. Sure your Molly moment will happen...

  3. Danielle - I'm not quite sure - I've done over 300 so about 250 more. They are mainly fat ones.

    Hayley - hmmm