Friday, 4 April 2008
The Girls of Slender Means
Title: The Girls of Slender Means
Author: Muriel Spark
Number of pages: 144
Started: 3 April 2008
Finished: 4 April 2008
Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions. The streets of the cities were lined with buildings in bad repair or in no repair at all, bomb-sites piled with stony rubble, houses like giant teeth in which decay had been drilled out, leaving only the cavity. Some bomb-ripped buildings looked like the ruins of ancient castles until, at a closer view, the wallpapers of various quite normal rooms would be visible, room above room, exposed, as on a stage, with one wall missing; sometimes a lavatory chain would dangle over nothing from a fourth-or fifth-floor ceiling; most of all the staircases survived, like a new art-form, leading up and up to an unspecified destination that made unusual demands on the mind's eye. All the nice people were poor; at least, that was a general axiom, the best of the rich being poor in spirit.
This is London 1945, when all nice people are poor. Muriel Spark sets us down among the girls of good family but slender means as they fight it out, from their Kensington hostel to the last clothing coupon until this charmingly light-hearted period in their lives descends into horror and tragedy.
Plot summary taken from Amazon
What I thought:
I didn’t really know what to make of this book. It had some amusing moments, but on the whole it didn’t really grab me. I just didn’t really ever understand quite where it was meant to be going. It was ok but, for me, easily forgettable.