28/05/2002

A Lasting Spring (by Jean Stubbs)

I can find nothing about the novelist Jean Stubbs online, other than lists and reviews of some of her books. It seems that she has been a fairly prolific writer, although she is now over 80 and does not seem to have written anything since 2005.

'A Lasting Spring' starts with a young woman waiting for someone in a tea shop, shortly after the end of World War II.

Almost at once we are taken back to 1928, and Evelyn's life as a girl and young woman. She was teased in school; she missed her mother who died when she was small. She had a stepmother and step-brother, and new relatives, and she gradually learned to love music.

The years go by in believable fashion through Evelyn's eyes, as she learns to deal with many different people, sees death, and falls in love.

The horror of war is hinted at, but not spelled out in any way. Eventually the novel brings us to the present - or, rather, the starting time of the novel - and the end of the book brings us to the beginning of the rest of Evelyn's life.

A bit long-winded in places, and not my favourite period of history, but an interesting read. Pleasant light reading, recommended if you like war-years books with strong characters and not too much actual war-talk.

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