The Long View

Elizabeth Jane Howard’s second novel, pub’d in 1956, is interesting only in that it gives you a window into how she gradually gained her powers of depicting characters that draw you in. The cast of this novel is an unhappy family, starting in 1950 and working backwards to when the couple first married in 1927. The husband begins the story in 1950 largely disappearing from the family, teasing and torturing guests at a dinner party to celebrate his son’s engagement to a disastrously dull woman. His daughter is torn between two men, one who loves her and one who does not, and she gets pregnant by the one who loathes her and runs away with the other.