This book was written by Barbara Comyns and first published
in 1950. I bought it when we were in Glasgow on vacation.
If you remember, (former post, The Books I Bought . . .)
I bought two editions of this same book. Does the cover of a
book matter? Well, look at these two covers and tell me
which one you’d select to read . . .
If you chose the one on the left, you would expect to read a cute
funny little memoir type from the 1950s. If you chose the book
on the right, you would expect–huh? what WOULD you expect?
I read the one on the left with the cover illustration by Adam Hamcher.
Sophia is a silly young thing in the 1950s who marries Charles hastily.
(Marry in haste, repent at leisure). She is a working girl, in some kind
of commercial art, and later has a myriad of jobs to pay the rent. Charles
is an Artist with a capital A so he must stay home and paint.
They are married on a shoestring and wedding guests are few, so they
start off quite simply with a few gifts, but —-you guessed it, their spoons
came from Woolworths.
They move often, but usually to a flat in London with a shared bath down
the hall. Sophia would like a large family, Charles has no interest in
children. So! they promptly have a baby and name him after Botticelli–
(just as you would).
The “cute, funny little memoir” gets a little gutsy during Sophia’s
confinement in the public ward at the London hospital, but I guess
Comyns thought she needed to include it.
Little Sandro cries a lot and what with Sophia working daily, Charles
is left to mind the infant while he works at his canvases . . . I wish I
could tell you that he sells a lot of his paintings, but I can’t.
Even I could tell that things probably won’t improve, but things do
happen to move the story along–that’s life!–and we are somehow
taken magically by the end to a storybook ending!
Hm-m. I’d call the book quirky.
Hey! Some of OUR “silverware” came from Woolworths–or Grants–
or Kresges . . . the ones we call the “star” pattern. Pure 1960s.
These are the only two pieces left. I
use them when I make scrambled eggs.