When I say things like "the midcentury novel is going flat on me" I apparently don't mean midcentury novels like this. Can I just mention how much I still like the Virago Modern Classics? Yes.
M.J. Farrell, i.e. Molly Keane, wrote this book as a play first, then rewrote it as a novel. It's a post-war Irish comedy in which the older, pre-war characters have been pampered to the point of unreality, completely unable to understand that their brother has died and left them broke, while their children scramble to keep them in food and housing. It doesn't sound like much of a comedy. Then you start reading and find out it's all seen through a lens of dry, wry, grey to black humor.