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January 16, 2014

Book Review - Giant's Bread, Unfinished Portrait and Absent in the Spring - The Mary Westmacott Collection by Agatha Christie

These are very interesting stories. They have been called romances but they are more studies of families and relationships with the author placing quite a few characters under the microscope. I found them intriguing having read the Christie mysteries for many years, to see how she handled these stories, originally published under the name of Westmacott in the 30s & 40s. Apart from a dated and prejudicial portrait of some Jewish characters that simply would not happen now, she is a master of the upper middle class English family, wrestling with romances, finances, creative impulses, parenting and growing up. I particularly liked the story of a woman who is forced by transport difficulties to stay in a remote location for several days, with no entertainment, and is forced to reflect on her own life…. Will she make changes as a result of this time to think? This book is quite thick but very readable and includes a foreword by the author's daughter. Wendy

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