If you’re a fan of a satiric voice and mocking manners, then you should definitely check out Nancy Mitford. My friend S is studying her for her doctoral exam, and raved about her. I like a sassy lady who writes about people and society, and Mitford is right up my alley.
Pursuit of Love is narrated by Fanny, a young woman essentially abandoned by her parents and raised by her maiden aunt Emily. Her cousins, the Radletts, live nearby, and it is their story that is actually the focus of the novel. You meet mousy Aunt Sadie and irascible Uncle Matthew, who grinds down his dentures and fake-hunts his children for sport (no, really). More specifically, it is Fanny’s cousin Linda’s pursuit for love that is the focus of the story.
Let’s talk about Linda, shall we? She is a feisty, headstrong young woman with some craaaazy ideas about love. She is desperate to be “out” and decides to marry the first person she seems to fall in love with. We all know that goes super well. Of course, Linda is not satisfied with her lot in love and decides to bolt. Now, Fanny’s own mother is a flighty woman who takes up with a lot of men, and she is known as the Bolter. So it’s interesting to see her niece take after her. But I digress.
For an early twentieth-century writer, Nancy Mitford is rather sly and sexy. She makes innuendoes aplenty and alludes to various things you wouldn’t expect a polite society author to. But that makes the writing random and deliciously funny.