The Pursuit of Love

Terrific tale of a privileged upper-class family in England between the wars. Narrated by cousin Fanny with a lens on the boisterous Radlett family living in Alconleigh, their Gloucestershire estate. Fanny is abandoned by her own parents (mother nicknamed The Bolter, for her propensity for leaving her husbands) and raised by spinster Aunt Emily, who marries Davey in her 40s luckily to no ill-effect on Fanny. Most of the tale centers on Linda, the beautiful and energetic daughter of Aunt Sadie and Uncle Matthew. Linda marries disastrously, twice, but finds true love as she sits sobbing on her suitcase in Paris, having missed her train and out of funds for another. Linda has a daughter by her first husband, whom she hates and neglects, resulting in hilarious descriptions of the new mother rejecting her child, saying that the baby was crying because it caught sight of itself in the mirror. Her doctors warn her not to have another, that it will kill her, and she ignores this message when with her last lover, the French duke, Fabrice. This ultimately kills her, as expected, while the family is hunkered down avoiding the air raids in London.