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Ankle Deep

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Ankle Deep is one of Angela Thirkell's earliest novels. With characteristic civility and sophistication, the author welcomes us into her fictional stretch of English countryside, a magical landscape spirited with good people going about the business of life, irresistibly entertaining in their determination to misunderstand each other.
Paperback, 212 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Moyer Bell (first published 1933)
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3.16  · 
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 ·  113 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Angela Thirkell's second novel so much (High Rising), that I went back and read this, her first novel. It wasn't nearly as engaging. It revealed glimpses of her comic genius but for the most part, the heroine was simply annoying. The good news is that I went on to read Thirkell's third novel, Wild Strawberries, and it was five-star wonderful. So I suggest if you haven't read her yet, just skip this one and go on to another.
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Angela Thirkell writes with sparkle and wit.
Fanny Turner so loves to try and match make with cross purposes.
She invites Valentine Esnor an eligible bachelor to a house party.
The other guests are friends and one with a married daughter in tow.
Romantic mishaps all told with Thirkell's stylish prose and observant eye.
It made me chuckle!
There is no stopping after one tough.
Luckily she wrote lots of books.
This is a stand alone but her Barsetshire series is excellent.
Highly recommended
Jun 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Very differently from most Angela Thirkells, ANKLE DEEP focuses with hothouse intensity on only one plot line. An unhappy wife falls in love with a man who loves women, emphasis on the plural. Every character in the novel looks likeable at first, but as the author peels away their conventions, they look more and more real, and finally leave a bad taste in the mouth. This book was written in 1933 with penetrating understanding and no sympathy. As I started by saying, ANKLE DEEP is very different ...more
Carol Bakker
Jan 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sampled-but-no
I hadn't heard of Angela Thirkell, but an English friend put her in the same category as D.E. Stevenson, Miss Read, etc. So I gave her a try.

I couldn't find anything entertaining, interesting, or pleasant about Fanny Turner on the first twenty pages.

I am willing to try one of Thirkell's book set in Barsetshire, but my love for Trollope keeps me skeptical.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This was my first Angela Thirkell book and I was really looking forward to it. Ankle Deep, written in 1933, is one of her first books, semi-autobiographical and not part of the series set in Trollope's mythical county of Barsetshire. I did not really care for this book. I could not endear myself to one single character. In fact I fairly disliked most of them. Aurea was probably the most likable (and I would presume the character based on Angela herself). There was much humor in the book which I ...more
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The opening paragraphs of Ankle Deep suggest that it is a typical example of a particular genre. The author lets the reader continue under that misapprehension for a short while then inexorably bends the story in one place and straightens it in another and discloses a few cards hidden up the narrator’s sleeve. By the last page the reader has been taken to both expected and unexpected places and has been finally set down not far from the point where they were originally swept up – in the process ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
British society and manners are front and center in this humorous tale of family and friendships set in the English countryside. Flirting is an acceptable past-time for married members of Fanny Turner's social circle, but when inexperienced Aurea Palgrave pays an extended visit to her parents, will the unhappily married woman successfully navigate the nearness of an old flame and a potential new love interest? Misunderstandings and faux pas abound.
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I was disappointed in this third book I have read by Angela Thirkell. A tedious account of two people in love, one of whom is unhappily married and their friends, another married couple, and everyone behaves rather stupidly and even though the two in-love people did not technically violate the proprieties and vows of marriage, they might just as well have, it would have been more interesting.
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An early AT--NOT Barchester. Aurea, living in Canada, is at home in England (briefly), where she meets friend Fanny, her husband Arthur, and Valentine.

I love this one--very different from the Barchester books. It was published in 1933, so early in her career. It may well reflect Angela's own feelings at the time.
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: england early work where her brilliant skill and profound wit are already present. Not exactly as cheerful as her later work, but then the subject matter (falling in love outside if one's marriage ) is not at all cheerful.
Jun 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lit
Ugh. The characters were unsympathetic, the love story boring, and the gentle comedy that I usually expect from Thirkell completely missing. Very disappointing.
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I love Angela Thirkell but I didn't really like this early effort. Sexual frustration and senseless infatuation on every page. It reminded me more of Barbara Pym than vintage Angela Thirkell.
Liz Etnyre
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was advertised as acomedy of manners similar to Wodehouse. First published in 1933, Well, it's not nearly as funny as Wodehouse, but it IS a nice comedy of errors, teenage angst for the repressed 30-something of the 1930's! Witty, some chuckles. Enjoyed it, but didn't love it. I understand her later works are better, though - so I will keep an eye out. 3 stars.
Heather Bond
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Dec 29, 2009
Justina Hayden
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Donna Gardner
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Ruth Leamy
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Jan 06, 2016
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Kim Leffler
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Angela Margaret Mackail was born on January 30, 1890 at 27 Young Street, Kensington Square, London. Her grandfather was Sir Edward Burne-Jones the pre-Raphaelite painter and partner in the design firm of Morris and Company for whom he designed many stained glass windows - seven of which are in St Margaret's Church in Rottingdean, West Sussex. Her grandmother was Georgiana Macdonald, one of a prec ...more
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