This has languished in my digital pile since July 2018 and then finally last week I got to it.
Here’s the blurb …
Dedmayne Rectory is quietly decaying, its striped chintz and darkened rooms are a bastion of outmoded Victorian values. Here Mary has spent thirty-five years, devoting herself to her sister, now dead, and to her father, Canon Jocelyn. Although she is pitied by her neighbours for this muted existence, Mary is content. But when she meets Robert Herbert, Mary’s ease is destroyed and years of suppressed emotion surface through her desire for him.
First published in 1924 this novel is an impressive exploration of Mary’s relationship with her father, of her need for Robert and the way in which, through each, she comes to a clearer understanding of love.
This is a beautifully written novel – not a lot happens, but it is about the characters and how they treat one another. It’s about trying to do the right thing and being steadfast, and about putting one foot in front of the other despite disappointments. It is quite sad, Mary’s life was one of sacrifice (quiet desperation – although Mary was happy to look after both her invalid sister and her father) with occasional moments of joy. Why is it some people get everything? And some nothing at all?
Persephone books also publish this novel – here’s their page on it.