Becky's Reviews > Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels

Love in a Cold Climate and Other Novels by Nancy Mitford
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Oct 06, 2009

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bookshelves: fiction
Read from July 15 to 23, 2011

I think knowing that The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate are somewhere between fiction and memoir prevents me from enjoying them completely as novels - I can't stop trying to figure out who each character represents, and psychoanalyzing the sisters themselves. Mitford presents her "Radletts" as a joyful, exuberant bunch, undaunted by their father's weird moods and tempers, and unchecked by their vague mother. Perhaps it succeeds as a window into "U"pperclass British life of the era, but there is no way to tell how far the whitewashing extends--Uncle Matthew's benign eccentricities look a lot like emotional abuse, but then I can't stop looking for the key to where it all went wrong. I just can't help feeling that there's something fundamentally wrong about a group of privileged upper class sisters who've never lacked anything (with the possible exception of formal education) divvying themselves between extremist political ideologies.
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