These Wodehouse books always manage to creep up on me. Just when I thought I would take a break for a while, I stumble onto another and the next thing I know, I'm done.
In this instance I was merrily minding my own business, reading books that were clearly not Wodehouse books--and planning to keep it that way for at least another month or two ... and then ... then I heard that my sister was reading Wodehouse's Damsel in Distress, and that she was enjoying it quite a bit. Unacceptable. I could not allow someone of my own flesh and blood to read a Wodehouse novel that I had not yet touched (this is excepting my oldest sister who introduced both of us younger siblings to the magical country estate of Wodehouse writing in the first place). With the greatest indignation, I snatched my own version of the book and plugged away.
In spite of my sister's seemingly amateur tastes on Wodehouse, boy was she ever right about this one. Enjoyable fits Damsel in Distress quite well. Romantic, less so, but still fits. Fun, definitely. Outrageous, yes, in parts--and only when it lends to significant humor. And ... memorable characters? It wouldn't be Wodehouse otherwise.
As usual, this story has Wodehouse returning to a constant: bumbling aristocrats, forbidden love, bombastic bullies, colorful servants, and miscommunications galore. However, if a lot of Wodehouse's stories seem like those housing developments where the only difference between abodes is a slightly different shade of siding, the insides of those houses have their own, delightful quirks and unique gems. Seeing one does not mean you have seen them all, and a return trip to wander through another home will leave you plenty of room for new, surprising discoveries.
Having said that, I hereby announce my at least three month sabbatical from any and all things Wodehouse. this, of course, is another way of saying that I am likely going to be starting another one within the next couple of weeks.