Friday, 7 November 2008

The Diary of a Provincial Lesbian by V G Lee

A kind friend, on hearing of my interest in E M Delafield, lent me this. Unfortunately, I thought it was pretty awful, and now need to compose a diplomatic thank you that doesn't betray my opinions. V G Lee's attempt at the apparently effortless, spontaneous diary prose that EMD achieves results in sloppy, casual sentences that witter without achieving either point or humour. Easy writing is indeed damned hard reading - and where are the jokes? The diary form is also bent, rather awkwardly, around a very obvious plot, losing the arbitrary, contingent humour and drama of the Provincial Lady. Occasional clunky references to the original text - an updated Our Vicar's Wife and mention of South of the Border - only serve to remind the reader of how far this book falls short of its model. It goes without saying that the editing of the book is shockingly bad - typographical errors, misspelt homophones and random apostrophes litter the text. Not recommended - but having read thirty excellent books this year I suppose I was due to read a poor one.


  1. But the most pressing question is whether we're any closer to establishing whether shrimps make good mothers?

  2. Alas, another of this book's deficiencies is that it fails to address this important issue.