The Way Things Are (Virago Modern Classics)
"'You've never told me about your marriage, Laura?' said Duke Ayland.. . . 'Yes. It's only - I'm very fond of Alfred, ' said Laura, taking the plunge and temporarily unaware that almost all wives begin conversations about almost all husbands in precisely the same way"Laura has been married for seven years. On those occasions when an after-dinner snooze behind The Times see...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published June 23rd 1988 by Virago Press Ltd
(first published 1927)
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One of the most tragic books I've ever read, though I haven't quite decided which interpretation of the last few paragraphs is the "right" one, if any. Perhaps it really isn't tragic at all. Deceptively simple and domestic at first, like its protagonist, this book becomes something quite unexpected as our heroine, the product of a conventional late-Victorian upbringing, begins to look more deeply into herself and to consider the possibilities apparently on offer to women in the larger world of t...more
The Way Things Are has several elements in common with Diary of a Provincial Lady: both are about a wife and mother struggling to balance her domestic life with her emotional life and her literary aspirations. I was startled in reading the Introduction (after I read the book, in case of spoilers) to find that it's considered one of Delafield's funniest books, because although I certainly found it witty, I didn't find it nearly as funny as the Provincial Lady books. Perhaps I was simply too overc...more
This is one of the early feminist novels, written in the 20s. The heroine, Laura Temple, spends her days dealing with the million practical details of home and family, and when she can, sneaking some time to write short stories. This wasn't how she thought her life would go. And when she falls in love, it looks like maybe there's another option for her. Or is there?
Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, née de la Pasture (9 June 1890 – 2 December 1943), commonly known as E. M. Delafield, was a prolific English author who is best-known for her largely autobiographical Diary of a Provincial Lady, which took the form of a journal of the life of an upper-middle class Englishwoman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s, and its sequels in which the Provincial La...moreMore about E.M. Delafield...