Elisa Rolle's Reviews > Lessons in Trust

Lessons in Trust by Charlie Cochrane
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May 10, 11

Read in May, 2011

Step by step Jonty and Orlando are entering the new century, the date is 1908, and some element of modernity are intruding in their life, like an automobile, a Lagonda, that Jonty loves so much and instead Orlando considers a machine from hell. If you find strange a pick up this detail of all the story to introduce this new instalment in the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, it’s soon explained: Jonty and Orlando are becoming day after day like an old married couple, and the comparison is easy with Jonty’s own parent, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart; like Mrs. Stewart complains with her husband about the fascination he has with the new attraction of the White City exhibition, the Flip Flap, so Orlando complains with Jonty about his automobile.

Another parallelism between Orlando and Jonty as unofficially married couple is the little subplot of Jonty’s sister, Lavinia, and her husband Ralph, even if in this case the author doesn’t arrive to use Orlando as marriage counsellor, since, well, Orlando is not exactly the most disinhibited of the man when talking about sex.

Another reason why I picked up a very personal detail is that this novel seemed more “personal” than the other I read, and the mystery Jonty and Orlando try to solve, is more or less in the background, leaving more center stage space instead to Orlando’s own mystery about his origins. Without spoiling too much the story, I think the author wanted in a way to bind together Jonty and Orlando even more, giving them a common ground. Plus, it helps Orlando to understand better his own family and so giving him the chance to let it go part of his inherent sadness to be more open to the happiness he found with Jonty.

In comparison to the other novels in the same series, I found this one a little more “light”; true, the light tone is common throughout all the series, Jonty and Orlando launching gags to each other with cleverness and humour, but probably since, as I said, the story is more personal, so is their dialogues, more focused on their common life and their future. Moreover, even if Orlando needs to estranger himself a bit, there is no apparently obstacles to their love, having more or less the support from whoever is dear to them.


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