Vicky's Reviews > Love in a Cold Climate

Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
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Aug 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: recent
Read from August 04 to 11, 2011

I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh out so many times, and I think my fellow-travellers on the tram to/from work now wonder whether I am slightly mad :)

The characters were wonderful, flawed and yet believable. The narrator, Fanny, seems so plain and naive despite her upbringing, that she makes a good contrast to the craziness of the rest of the characters. Polly, is a seriously flawed person - incredibly beautiful, but unable to love anyone in a normal way. Her mother, Lady Montdore is a wonderful, terrifying character - completely self-occupied and controlling of everyone she comes in contact with. Lord Montdore on the other hand is completely harmless & spineless. Then there are characters such as hypochondriac & gossip uncle Davey and serious, slightly scary Uncle Matthew, the aunts and younger cousins also add interest and hilarity and Fanny's husband who is even less interesting than she is.

The first half of the story covers the childhoods and adolescences of Fanny & Polly, their distant friendship (emotionally as well as physically at times), their histories and the stories of their love-lives & marriages. The second half of the book is completely different - Polly is banished from the family because of her marriage, and a remote cousin, Cedric, has come into the family in her place. I loved this - the way everyone accepts and loves this obviously gay young man, and his strong influence over them all.

The writing is very good, I think I like the humour because it is sarcastic towards the upper classes (although it doesn't really contrast with the lower classes). The conversations between characters are hilarious, and the things that the characters either take for granted or that they accept without comment shocked me on quite a few occasions.
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