Nancy's Reviews > Elegy for Eddie

Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
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's review
May 19, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: ww2, mysteries
Read in May, 2012

I have thoroughly enjoyed Winspear's previous Maisie Dobbs books, but I found myself losing patience with Maisie this time around.

Perhaps she is like a friend that I need to distance myself from for a little while--I just don't feel like giving her the respect she probably deserves. But, she is annoying me. Big time.

She is so bright and so intuitive, but she is starting to feel like a bossy-pants and self-righteous know-it-all. I wish she'd lighten up a bit.

She has a devilish, darling best friend that she never seems to make time for;

She has a father she adores, but only pops in to visit on rare occasions;

She has a fabulous businessman/Vicount lover that she can't quite get enthusiastic about;


If she is so darn smart, why can't she see that life is good. Smell the roses! I think Maisie Dobbs just does a bit too much navel-gazing. I adored the earlier books, but this just may be the case of knowing a character too well. She was more interesting when there were still things to learn about her. Now that I am familiar with all her quirks, she is far less appealing.

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07/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Sharon Page I agree with you. I am hoping Maisie is in that annoying sophomore phase of life! I am anxious to see if she grows up in the next book. I have hope because of the end when she stays in her house for a respite.

message 2: by Pat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pat I agree, Maisie was very tiresome in this book. For a strong intelligent character she seemed very weak and bound by restrictions.

Kate Exactly. You said all I was going to say. Had a hard time even finishing this one for all the reasons you mentioned. Hoping the next one is better.

Carol Storm Amen! Priscilla is so much more fun than Maisie.

Kate Ooooo…now a Pricilla mystery spin off series would be really fun!

Olga Agree. This time even Maisie's wise advisers explicitly tell her to let go of her need to control other people's lives. She really tries but it is hard. I also liked the less than clear cut development of her relationship with James: a little like marriage: nice to socialize with but Ok to go separate ways every now and then. I think that is a sign of strong, mature relationships.

Gary Van Cott I am not thrilled by the deep introspection that Maisie sometimes engages in. But consider how difficult it was for a woman to have a career and a family in the 1930s. I think that is the point the author was trying to make. It may have started getting a little better in the 1960s, but it is still difficult today.

Christina Sampson I don't mind Maisie's introspection, but I do think she is a bit of a Mary Sue. Always dresses appropriately, always with perfect reactions to every situation, good at wverything she turn her hand to with minimal effort. Yes, she's controlling and treats friends like pawns, but I wish she had a personal flaw. Does she have to be a good dancer, too, for example?

Gary Van Cott She seems to have a major problem with marriage.

Christina Sampson Yes, but that's not really enough to make her more compelling. It's in keeping with her character, really, as she's worked so hard to maintain indpendence. I just wish she had bad handwriting, or always dribbled tea on her perfectly appropriate and frugal but stylish Priscilla castoffs, something like that. Anything, really, to make her more human and less demi-god mystic.

Sandy Maisie is wracked by guilt and is motivated to help those she loves to share in her good fortune. I find her to be human to the bone. The human race would profit from a bit more introspection and self-examination.

message 12: by Isabella (new)

Isabella Hinds Just finished this one and so align with your image of a good friend who's feeling quite tiresome all of a sudden. I've whizzed through the first nine books in about 6 weeks but this one was a stumble. Maisie finally hits a true moral dilemna - and I think she just started blinking like mad.

Victoria Raun Maisie and her friend Priscilla both seem to have what is now called PTSD resulting from their combat service as a nurse and ambulance driver. This is one of the rhings that made the book so compelling to me. In WWI, it was called "shell shock" and barely recognized, let alone effectively treated.

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