Sunday, 17 February 2008

Brideshead Revisited

Title: Brideshead Revisited

Author: Evelyn Waugh

Number of pages: 331

Started: 10 February 2008

Finished: 15 February 2008

Opening words:

When I reached 'C' Company lines, which were at the top of the hill, I paused and looked back at the camp, just coming into full view below me through the grey mist of early morning. We were leaving that day. When we marched in, three months before, the place was under snow; now the first leaves of spring were unfolding. I had reflected then that, whatever scenes of desolation lay ahead of us, I never feared one more brutal than this, and I reflected now that it had no single happy memory for me.

Here love had died between me and the Army.

Plot summary:

The most nostalgic and reflective of Evelyn Waugh's novels, "Brideshead Revisited" looks back to the golden age before the Second World War. It tells the story of Charles Ryder's infatuation with the Marchmains and the rapidly-disappearing world of privilege they inhabit. Enchanted first by Sebastian at Oxford, then by his doomed Catholic family, in particular his remote sister, Julia, Charles comes finally to recognize only his spiritual and social distance from them.

Plot summary taken from Amazon

What I thought:

I enjoyed this book and thought there were some very amusing moments in it, despite it also dealing with some rather more serious issues. I thought there were several parallels with The End of the Affair – they both had a strong Catholic thread running through them and how that affected people’s view of the world and relationships (read the page immediately before the epilogue and you should see exactly what I mean). I think ultimately it was a book about people looking for peace and happiness and how they found it all so elusive.

“Now we shall both be alone, and I shall have no way of making you understand.”

“I don’t want to make it easier for you” I said “I hope your heart may break; but I do understand”

No comments: