A House in the Country

Another mediocre Persephone title. I wonder if I’ve reached that middling ground where the quality peters out and you’re just left with books that are better off not being revived? Another wartime story during WWII, Cressida a beautiful widow who runs a boarding house out of a gorgeous old country mansion. Characters are introduced then whisked off stage before anything of note comes of them (Felicity Brent, the red headed troublemaker whose rudeness seems to portend of something greater, but she simply vanishes off to the war and jilts her fiance). An aunt comes to stay, harrumphs about her niece Cressida toiling away in the kitchen but Cressida will not hear of employing servants, even after the war. This is a common theme of all these Persephone books– the breaking off of the ways with servants and making do on one’s own. Throughout the book, we also follow the progress of Charles Valery whose boat is sunk and who spends two weeks drifting around the Atlantic before being rescued. A head-shaking hodgepodge of a story.