22/11/2001

Summertime (by Charlotte Bingham)

I have mixed feelings about Charlotte Bingham's novels. Some of them are light satire which I can't quite get into, others are deeper with more interesting characters. So I tend to pick them up second-hand, or when they're on special offer somewhere.

'Summertime' features Trilby, who lives with her loving father and unpleasant stepmother. In free moments, she draws cartoons for the amusement of her neighbours.

When a newspaper tycoon sees and admires the cartoons, then falls in love with her, she escapes from her family - only to find that her new husband keeps her almost like a doll. She has little to do, and is unable to go out anywhere by herself.

A nervous breakdown leads to the relaxing of her security, and - inevitably - she meets someone else.

A moving book, with a dramatic climax - but I was a little disappointed that the final chapter leaves rather too many unanswered questions.

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