The Adventures of Sally (by PG Wodehouse)

Searching through the 200 or so books on my Kindle, I came across one that I downloaded from Project Gutenberg at least two years ago, by PG Wodehouse. Best known for the Jeeves and Wooster books, this author produced many more lesser-known books which, as they are out of copyright, are often available free or inexpensively in a variety of editions. The 'mobi' version allowed me to put it on my Kindle.

‘The Adventures of Sally’ follow, unsurprisingly, the life of a young woman of that name. She’s living in a boarding house in the United States when we first meet her, but has just received her share of an inheritance, and is celebrating the fact that she can take a holiday and perhaps buy a home of her own and settle down. We also meet several of her friends in the first chapter and quickly learn that she’s a generous, open-hearted girl if perhaps a little naive.

Sally has a brother who’s rather pompous and whom she feels that she must look after. She’s also engaged to a writer, Gerald, who insists that their relationship must be kept secret. He’s not a particularly likeable person; Wodehouse is skilled at showing this kind of thing with the lightest of touches and some humour; I smiled several times and almost laughed aloud once or twice.

Sally takes her holiday, and meets some other people including the hapless and rather clumsy Ginger, whom she takes a motherly interest in. And the plot moves between Europe and the US with all travels made by ship and communication by post or telegram, as this is set in the early part of the 20th century.

The outcome of the story is somewhat inevitable with a few surprises along the way, and it’s not the exceptional quality of some of the Jeeves books. It's not a plot-driven novel, it's character-based and as such some people might find it slow-moving.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much, and - as I had hoped - it made excellent reading material for a holiday, ideal to pull out of my bag for train journeys or odd moments.

Recommended to anyone who enjoys this author, or indeed light satirical novels set around a hundred years ago.

Note that I've linked to a paperback edition of this book on the UK Amazon site; there are many other editions now available, but if you have a Kindle or other ebook reader, or would like to read the book online, I would recommend the free Gutenberg edition of 'The Adventures of Sally'.

Review by copyright 2016 Sue's Book Reviews

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