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review 2018-01-25 04:06
The Pursuit of Love
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford

My first Nancy Mitford read was Love in a Cold Climate and while I could recognise the talent in the writing, and enjoy the humor, I failed to see anything significant or profound in the story.  That means this, my only other Mitford book, languished on the TBR for years.  I finally picked it up a couple of days ago.  It is a significantly better book, in my opinion.


Told in third person by a narrator that is the niece/cousin of the Radlett family, it chronicles the life of one of the Radlett daughters, second-oldest of 7 (I think), Linda.  Linda is a delicate natured, highly emotional child who loves animals, in a family that is hilariously savage, headed by a father that is the very stereotype of landed gentry.  As a teen she becomes highly romantic and impatient for her Grand True Love.  Most importantly to her future, she is undereducated and naive, but kind, charming and pleasant.


Of the two books, this one is the most realistic; Linda is just as likely a character today as she was almost 100 years ago.  I didn't read reviews of it before beginning it, but when searching for a synopsis I glanced over several that read of the tragic undercurrent of this book.  On the face of it, I see why people claim this, but really, I can't see it.  Linda herself would not see her life as tragic, and I"m not at all sure Fanny (the narrator) sees it either.  Linda's life was not blameless, but Linda herself never thought it was, and undereducated or not, she owned her mistakes and would repeat them all given a choice, in the end.  I admired her for that.


I could talk forever about this book, but I'll just wrap up with a note about the introduction to my edition, written by Hugo Vickers.  In it he states that it is widely believed that this book is largely autobiographical, with Fanny, the narrator, being Mitford.  I know nothing about Nancy Mitford save what he himself wrote in a quick biographical sketch, but based on this, I don't see it; she appears  to have lived much more of Linda's life than the solid, quiet life of Fanny.  Perhaps Mitford, as Fanny, was playing the omniscient observer of her own history, adding the ending she'd have preferred, over the one she ultimately got.  I suppose that's what Vickers meant, but if it was, he didn't make that clear.


By far my favorite of the two books, this is engaging writing, amusing reading, and offers readers a depth of insight that will stay with them without weighing them down.

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review 2015-12-14 22:18
Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford
bookshelves: radio-4x, winter-20152016, dec-2015-free-for-all, long-weekend, britain-england, lit-richer, amusing, published-1945
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from November 28 to December 11, 2015



Description: Fanny Logan tells the story of her beloved aristocratic cousins, the Radletts, and in particular Linda, who is beautiful and loves animals. Uncle Mathew hunts his children with bloodhounds (to the horror of respectable families in the local village) and keeps a blood-spattered entrenching tool above the fireplace as a relic of his experiences in the First World War. The cousins spend much of their childhood in the airing cupboard - the only warm place in the enormous Alconleigh Hall - discussing love and sex.

Beautifully observed and hilariously funny, the novel is also a fascinating hinterland account of the period leading to the Second World War and never pulls its punches in evoking the painful reality of the times.

1: Fanny Logan's story of her beloved aristocratic cousins

2: Fanny is anxious about meeting her Aunt Emily's husband-to-be

3: Aunt Sadie needs to find some young men to invite to Louisa's ball

4: Cousin Linda Radlett falls in love, to the dismay of her family

5: Linda's marriage does not turn out as she hoped

6: Linda falls in love but finds communists' parties are frightfully gloomy

7: Linda's success with the communists does not extend to Christian

8: Linda is living in Paris with the seductive Fabrice, Duc of Sauveterre

9: Linda has to leave Fabrice and return to London

10: Linda returns home to await the end of the war.

Reader...Diana Quick
Abridger...Lauris Morgan-Griffiths
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.
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review 2015-02-24 00:00
Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?
Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making? - Linda Dillow,Juli Slattery Not a bad read, seems to provide a lot of information and help. I could see groups of women doing this as a support group, but also I definitely for see this good for couples to do together and look forward to do this as a couple with my spouse when that comes to fruition.

While I can see how this helps couples and women, but at the same time I still felt a little uneasy. I'm sure in time it would get easier. One thing I could see is couples married and to be married utilizing this to help bring out the best in both.

I received this through Goodread's first reads.
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review 2014-02-14 00:00
Pursuit of Passion (Access to Love)
Pursuit of Passion - Gracie Lonsdale Pursuit of Passion by Gracie Lonsdale is a sweet, romantic, passionate story about two ordinary people just trying to find their soulmate. This is one story where so many people can relate. This deals with struggles of dating, dealing with new divorcees, momma's boys, and just trying to find something more from a partner than just good sex.

We all are trying to find that special connection, that one moment you look at someone and they immediately take your breath away, the ever so mysterious "love at first sight," situation. Who knew you can find it by signing on to a dating website?! If I had a chance to be matched up with a gorgeous, home town, charming cowboy like Deacon Brooks....SIGN ME THE HELL UP NOW!

In Pursuit of Passion, we all know why Ivy Hughes had it up to "here" and finally signed up for the dating website, but I needed more of Deacon's back story. His character intrigued me so much, and I wanted more.

"I don't want to push you into anything you're not ready for, but darlin', you have to know...I'm dying to kiss every inch of your body and show you just how I'm feeling right now."

This had just enough steamy sex scenes to keep me satisfied. Not too little, not too much...perfect.

The fact that this story released on Valentine's Day was pretty damn perfect. If you are looking for a short, satisfying read that is romantic and sensual, pick this one up and you won't be disappointed.

*ARC provided by the author*
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review 2014-01-07 04:51
The Clearing: The Pursuit of Love
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford

The Clearing

This is the tale of my nasty book-buying addiction. Since 1998 or so, for every five or six books that I bought, I'd read maybe one, leaving something around 80% of my library (over 1000 books) unread. Most of my library is still in boxes: we don't have enough room in our house to display all of them. My office is a mess of boxes and books, and I can't work in there because of it. To fix this problem, I've instituted a new system I call the Clearing: for every new book purchased, one book from the stacks must be read, and then a decision made: keep or give away. The Clearing, step 2.0, continues with The Pursuit of Love.

How long has The Pursuit of Love been in the stacks?

2008? I can't remember if this came from the great trove I amassed during the shortlived years of Goodreads Bookswap, or if I purchased it around the same time. 

Why did you buy it? 

I needed it for my bookshelf, duh! And it was probably cheap, and Modern Library edition, which look so lovely on a shelf. . .

Why didn't you read it when you bought it? 

I needed it for my bookshelf, but I didn't have time to read it. I was too busy buying other books I needed for my bookshelf. 

What was it about? 

Linda Radlett, and her family. Possibly also about beauty and maybe about the dangerous trap that we set for ourselves when we worship objects, or people as them. The difference between love and idolatry or love and the idea of love. 

This is an uproarious comedy with a black heart of cold cold stone, friends. I can't believe how hard I laughed (mostly at Uncle Matthew, and references to Uncle Matthew . . . and people's reactions to Uncle Matthew . . . who hunts his children with dogs and says things like: "I reckon . . . that we shall be able to stop them (the Germans) for two hours - possibly three - before we are all killed. Not bad for such a little place."

Would you have felt differently about it had you read it when you bought it? 

Oh my word, yes. Yes, yes yes yes yes. I hadn't read The Thinking Reed . If any book should be considered mandatory side-by-side reading with The Pursuit of Love, it isThe Thinking Reed - they are almost opposite sides of the same coin. You have two women, one who marries for love and repeatedly ends up in embarrassment, and one who marries to prevent embarrassment, but ends up in love. You have two capitalists: one a banker who squirrels away funds in foreign countries to which he can flee at the soonest hint of a German invasion that will never come, the other a manufacturer willing to turn over everything his family has spent generations building to his country to fight the invasion that is completely inevitable. And both novels, at the end, are about safety in the fortress of family, whether that fortress is that love you and your husband have found in one another, or an actual fortress that your father has built out of horsecarts and bicycle tires to fend off German tanks. 

It can be very difficult to reconcile one's hatred of inequality with one's love of tales of the arristocracy. And yet I try. There isn't a cheesy period piece on Netflix I will not watch three or four times. I devour Downton. I took a very strong stand on Facebook in defense of the Royal Baby, as He is still referred to in this household. I have no desire to offer an argument in favor of their return, good republican (lower case r and mark it!) that I am, but I know there must be a reason beyond fine clothes and table-settings that gets me and my ilk so worked up, so nostalgic for a time we never lived in a class we never would have been born into. And a quote from The Pursuit of Love had me thinking that I'd found that reason. "Linda took no interest in politics, but she was instinctively and unreasonably English. She knew that one Englishman was worth a hundred foreigners, whereas Tony thought that one capitalist was worth a hundred workers." Perhaps I've lost hope in true equality, and maybe I never believed I could have both equality and liberty and that one must always suffer (though, this is probably a product of a typical (i.e., conservative in the most general of senses) bourgeois American upbringing) and that rich people are a fact of life and they predominantly come in two flavors: aristocrats and capitalists. I think all of this nostalgia for the aristocracy must come from the fact that the capitalists are being such assholes right now, and likely our taste for the aristocracy declined when the capitalists seemed to be on our side. 

So: Keep or Give Away? 

Get your dirty, stinking hands off of my book.

[cross-posted on Goodreads and The Stacks (shelvesandshelves.tumblr.com)]

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