Echo

You know you’re reading obscure shit when you can’t find an Amazon image to include in the post, and you have to send away to other libraries to get a copy. I’m continuing to explore Violet Trefusis’s work, this time with Echo, originally written in French but translated helpfully by Siân Miles in this 1988 edition. It’s a short volume, not quite 100 pages to detail the arrival of Parisian cousin Sauge to visit Scotland and stay with her mother’s sister, Aunt Agnes, and the two orphaned children she’s raising, twins Malcolm and Jean, a boy and a girl of indeterminate age, possibly youths in their late teens. The main plot follows the reluctance of the twins to accept the outsider, and then their both falling in love with Sauge, which ends badly as Jean kills herself when she hears Malcolm propose marriage. Interspersed, letters from Sauge’s husband (both drafts not sent and those actually sent) which show that he’s well aware that her interest in him is only piqued when she’s jealous. And Aunt Agnes (Lady Balquidder) has neighbors that play a minor part in showcasing how a somewhat middle class family is more normal than the one living in the grand castle next door.