Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Next Great Lifetime Movie

 This novel, Long Week End by Harlow Estes made its debut in 1941, long before the advent of what I like to call the Lifetime Movie genre of story.  These are stories filled with tearful drama, unimaginable tragedy and, usually, a pretty tidy ending.  Often they star Valerie Bertinelli or Nancy McKeon.  There are women done wrong, women misunderstood and women in love with the wrong man.  There is usually some kind of romance.  Or murder.  Or suicide. Or appletini's.  Sometimes there are all of the above.  This is that kind of story.

This book started out promisingly enough with a  description of the protagonist, Livvy.  On the train ride to visit her gentleman friend Ames Chelsea, and his family, for a long weekend, she self-reflects that "she had experimented wth subtlety a few times; she wouldn't again, ever; the results had been frightful."    Loved that description.  Definitely, it would be my new life motto had I ever been subtle.  It was my favorite part.  

 It was on page three.  

There were 310 pages. 


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

They Had Trashy Novels Way Back When?


Next in the pile was Tides of Mont St. Michel by Roger Vercel.  Here's the summary that was printed on the inside of the front and back covers:

This is the Abbey of Mont S. Michel -- crowning glory of mediaeval architecture.  Not only a shrine, it is also a fortress set boldly on a great rock in the Atlantic Ocean.  At low tide the causeway to the French mainland ios passable; at high tide the water submerges it, and the Abbey becomes an island.  
This modern novel tells of a drama enacted within the stone walls of the incredible structure that man and nature have created here -- a drama of a man and a woman, of strong opposing forces and of lofty aspiration
The one thought I had upon finishing this book: I had no idea they used the word "slut" so liberally in 1938.