The Blessing is one of Nancy Mitford’s most personal books, a wickedly funny story that asks whether love can survive the clash of cultures.When Grace Allingham, a naïve young Englishwoman, goes to live in France with her dashingly aristocratic husband Charles-Edouard, she finds herself... show more
The Blessing is one of Nancy Mitford’s most personal books, a wickedly funny story that asks whether love can survive the clash of cultures.When Grace Allingham, a naïve young Englishwoman, goes to live in France with her dashingly aristocratic husband Charles-Edouard, she finds herself overwhelmed by the bewilderingly foreign cuisine and the shockingly decadent manners and mores of the French. But it is the discovery of her husband’s French notion of marriage—which includes a permanent mistress and a string of casual affairs—that sends Grace packing back to London with their “blessing,” young Sigismond, in tow. While others urge the couple to reconcile, little Sigi—convinced that it will improve his chances of being spoiled—applies all his juvenile cunning to keeping his parents apart. Drawing on her own years in Paris and her long affair with a Frenchman, Mitford elevates cultural and romantic misunderstandings to the heights of comedy.
Publish date: August 10th 2010
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
Marvelous for Mitford's exquisite devotion to France and French society, but the characters begin to grate, ever so slightly. Whereas her frivolous society girls in The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate come across as charming despite their ridiculousness, I spent most of this novel wanting...
Grace Allingham, a young and unassuming Englishwoman from an affluent background, makes the acquaintance of Charles-Edouard de Valhubert, a French Air Force officer, during the early years of the Second World War. Charming, suave, and utterly self-assured, he sweeps Grace off her feet, they quickl...
On one level, this is a frivolous, entertaining story about a couple, their marital difficulties, and the little heathen they call their son (the "blessing" of the title). On a deeper level, Mitford skillfully tells of culture clash, love, and family dysfunction, using her own situation (and clear-...
I picked this one from a metafilter list of happy books. It was a nice bit of dated fluff about wealthy folk in France and England just after WWII. Grace had impetuously married a charming Frenchman just before the war and 7 years later finally moves in with him and their son. All are wondering h...
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