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Surrey, United Kingdom

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Mariana by Monica Dickens

Finished reading Mariana by Monica Dickens yesterday and not ashamed to admit that I was genuinely sad when it ended. I had been so swept along in Mary's story that it was not until she fell in love with Sam that I remembered how the novel had opened. This sense of impending doom made sure I read the last pages with my heart in my mouth. For me, what was so wonderful about the novel was Mary herself - I found her such an endearing and sympathetic character, with many traits that I could identify with. Being surrounded by other more colourful characters didn't even detract from her, by comparison, simplicity and plainness. It reminded me of so many other stories I have enjoyed, but was in no way an imitation or inferior to them. It evoked so effortlessly my image of life in the early twentieth century when everything seemed more innocent and simple. Those wonderful summer holidays in the country with her cousins, the heartbreak of unrequited love and the passionate affair with the sophisticated and fascinating man which eventually fizzles out all seemed so real, almost as if they could have been my own memories. If you're looking for a book that will totally engross you, as well as make you think about the nature of love, then Mariana should serve you well.

I also, by chance, came across another Monica Dickens in the wonderful Oxfam bookshop not far from where I work (too close, some might say!) At £1.99 I could hardly resist and so have The Angel in the Corner now added to my To Be Read pile. There doesn't seem to be much available info about this novel on the Amazon website, but I think the very short review by 'A Customer' convinces me that it will be worth a shot:

"A middle class girl with a smothering mother falls in love with a spiv - a working class man on the make who dazzles her by flashing his cash."

I have also come to the conclusion that I have been writing this blog all around the wrong way...I get so excited about reading a new book that I rush straight in and talk about it before actually reading it, which makes me feel like I'm repeating myself when I come to write my review of it! So, from now on, I shall simply mention the book(s) that I am reading at the end of my review.

Currently reading:


  1. Monica Dickens is an author who I haven't read till now. The books sound good, so I'll probably give them a try =)

  2. Mariana was such a fantastic read but you can't go wrong with any Persephone titles - I am envious of you finding another book by her in your local Oxfam!

  3. Mariana is a Persephone that I have been "saving" this year; I've been thinking of reading it over the Christmas holidays.

    I envy you finding another Monica Dickens in your charity shop! I look forward to hearing more about it.

  4. Thanks for your comments everyone. I'm only just beginning to discover the joy of the Persephone titles...slightly daunted by how much I have to catch up on, but at the same time really excited about it!
    Not sure there are many things as exciting as finding a book you really wanted in a second hand bookshop!

  5. oh gosh, I loved, loved Mariana. So glad you like it too as it seems to be the Persephone that many people feel ambivalent about.

    I also have another Monica Dickens on my To Be Read pile, The Fancy.

    It's first time to your blog...it's lovely!