A dear internet friend of mine sent me an obscure copy of Because of the Lockwoods by Dorothy Whipple. I feel extremely lucky to have read it as it's now out of print, however, I wouldn't be surprised if Persephone Books publishes it in the near future. Since reading my first Whipple, They Were Sisters, she has quickly become one of my favourite writers. She is indeed a fabulous storyteller and I've loved every one of her books that I've read.
Whipple has been described as the Jane Austen of the twentieth century and it's hardly surprising since she writes wonderfully and so effortlessly about domestic dramas. She was quite popular in the 30s and 40s but her popularity waned in the 50s after her last novel, Someone at a Distance hardly sold at all. Luckily, Nicola Beauman, the founder of Persephone Books, discovered her and republished several of her novels.
Just like all the other novels of Dorothy Whipple, Because of the Lockwoods is a page-turner. It tells the story of Thea Hunter who grows up living in the same neighborhood as the wealthy and arrogant Lockwoods. The Lockwoods influence her life and her family's through the years during which Thea struggles with a constant feeling of resentment and envy towards them. Below is a picture of the beautiful endpaper of the original hardcover edition.
Let's hope that Persephone Books will republish this wonderful book very soon. If you can't wait, there's lots of secondhand copies to be had for a song at several internet booksellers. Failing that, you can always get Dorothy Whipple's other novels from Persephone Books.