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Harriet Hume
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1001 book reviews > Harriet Hume by Rebecca West

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Dree | 243 comments What a weird book!

I have so many questions. Is Harriet real? Is she a person, angel, ghost, or figment of Arnold's imagination?

Is Arnold the person we read about--up and coming statesman yada yada--or is he an unreliable narrator? Is this all a dream or some such? Can Harriet really read his mind or does she just use context clues? Doe she guess and understands his personality?

(view spoiler)

This book was not a fun read, the writing is very much dated and felt slow. But it would be a great book to discuss with a book club.


Diane  | 2051 comments Rating: 3.25 stars

An odd love story between Harriet Hume, a musician, and Arnold Condorex, an aspiring politician. Harriet is intuitive and possesses a strange connection with Arnold, in that she can read his thoughts. The two become estranged and later reunited. It is believed that Arnold's character is based upon HG Wells. Apparently, Wells has made the rounds with a number of female authors since he was also referenced in Pilgrimage.


message 3: by Rosemary (last edited Mar 15, 2022 09:56AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rosemary | 195 comments I wanted to like this book and was disappointed. Harriet was just so... twee. A little elfin thing with hands so small and dainty it seems impossible that she could be a pianist, and sickeningly cheerful and charming in the face of Arnold's betrayals. He is a complete snake, and there is too much purple prose for my taste.

I hope we no longer live in a world where a woman has to pretend not to mind when the love of her life loses interest a few minutes after leaving her bed and departs for another continent without looking back. But I'm not completely sure that we do. I hated the way she hung around his street and begged to be allowed to help him. Altogether, this was a depressing read for me.

Regarding the questions in Dree's spoiler, I think Yes. (view spoiler)

Did anyone else notice that both Rebecca West and Harriet Hume have 7 + 4 letters in their names?


Amanda Dawn | 1251 comments Yeah I was also kind of disappointed in this book after I liked the last book of hers I read. I agree Harriet was a bit of a weird but flat character and I also thought the book just started really abruptly without properly establishing things, and it never seems to catch up. I gave it 3 stars, but like a low 3.


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