The End of Summer

by Rosamunde Pilcher

This was a very slight tale of a girl, Jane, who has traveled the world with her rather feckless novelist father but has now finally returned to Elvie, her childhood home in Scotland. While staying there with her beloved grandmother she learns the painful truth about her cousin Sinclair for whom she has long held a long-cherished infatuation. Of course, the reader divines the truth right away through a couple of “clues”. Thankfully, it is not long before Jane has his number as well. She is never in danger of doing something really stupid. It is a typical Pilcher in many ways but it does take an uncharacteristically dark turn at one point. What bumped my rating up a star, was a touching and revealing letter from her father near the end. It turns out there was a little more there than at first met the eye as far as his character goes.

Pilcher’s heroines are always pretty and very nice. Nothing wrong with that. But Jane also embodies other traits that can be troubling. Besides being very young, they are also under-educated (by choice) and unambitious. They are easily victimized or taken advantage of. If they even have jobs, they are not careers, like teaching or nursing or management. They usually have no independent means of support so marriage to a rich or successful man is the only realistic option for a secure future. “Luckily” Jane finds her true love meal ticket at the end of this tale. I usually choose to overlook this trope while reading Rosamunde because her books are charming. But I felt I had to point it out, because even her old fashioned grandmother does.

“But nowadays every girl should be able to support herself”…hadn’t I ever wanted to do some sort of job? …I said, “Not really.” I said that I was very happy being supported by my father…. “Oh my poor Jane.”

Yay Granny! **3 1/2 stars out of 5**

May 26, 2020

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