I appreciate classic literature, Jane Austen, second-hand book shopping and a good cup of tea. My 'Favourites' shelf represent the books which formed the person behind these words.
**May contain spoilers!**
There was so much to admire about this novel. After a tentative start (it took me a couple of attempts to really get into the opening chapter) I’m really glad I persevered.The Oxford parts were perfection. Maybe it is because I am so fresh from my own university experiences, or because I’ve recently paid a visit to the dreamy spires of Oxford myself, but that section of the novel was a perfect blend of truth and melancholy and I loved it. However, I must admit that the second part of the novel, from the stormy sea onwards my attention began to slip. I missed Sebastian. I felt he was unresolved, that we were only just beginning to understand his character when he was whisked away to the other side of the world. His departure made way for Julia and the Catholic theology which dominated the latter half so it really did feel like to two separate novels. Even some of the dialogue became laboured and unnatural at times.The death-bed scene with Lord Marchmain, as well as Julia’s scene at the fountain were distractingly unbelievable. I couldn’t help but be taken out of the story at these moments where I should have been engaged most. Still, it was a lovely read for the scenes of Oxford life alone. And to finally put a literary voice to the name I’ve heard so much about through Nancy Mitford!