Sunday, May 9, 2010
To Bed With Grand Music
To Bed With Grand Music by Marghanita Laski is not an easy book to review but I felt I just had to write this in time as Persephone Week ends today. I found this book compulsively readable but I completely disliked the main character of Deborah. Usually, it's hard for me to read a book with a character that's so unlikable but surprisingly enough I still found the book very engaging and I credit it all to Laski's brilliant writing.
The book is set during the second world war. Deborah has been left at home in the country with her young son while her husband is stationed in Cairo. Bored with her life at home, Deborah takes a job in London and starts to sleep around with men just for the fun of it. As time passes, she spends less and less time with her son and more time in London. Soon her standards are lowered and she sleeps with just about anyone for free dinner dates, presents and what-nots. She even goes so far as to sleep with a good friend of her husband who's back on leave....and just for him to buy her a bag! I found Deborah more repulsive as the book progressed and in a way I couldn't wait for it all to end. I'm glad I read it though and it was certainly an insightful read. I had no idea there was this whole sub-culture of women left behind during the second world war who indulged in such philandering. I guess Laski wanted to convey how war affected everyone. War can destroy not just the men who fight the battles but the women left behind.