To Bed with Grand Music, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781903155769



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

You know it's going to end badly when on the second page a husband and wife are lying in bed swearing their undying love for one another though not their physical faithfulness. <i>Because darling, I don't want to make any promise I can't keep.</i> And so begins the downward spiral of Mrs. Deborah Robertson. Her husband goes off to a war job in Cairo leaving her in the country with their young son and housekeeper/mother's helper. Not being especially maternal, she seeks a wartime job in London on the premise of helping to end the war, thus bringing her husband home faster, and keeping her mind off of her husband. Keep her mind off him she certainly does, though not with her day job. She becomes rather a tart and the only wartime job she seems to be doing is servicing soldiers.

Review by

(25 December 2011 – from Sorcha)For some reason, I had this down as being short stories, so I was pleasantly surprised to find I was at Chapter 2, not a new story, already involved in the characters’ lives. A highly detailed psychological study of how one might go about going to rack and ruin in a wartime situation (the excellent foreword points out that the book was not based on Laski’s own experience, but on some direct observation, and I think this shows). It opens with Deborah and Graham having a somewhat uncomfortable marital discussion while preparing for wartime separation, then, under the influence of Deborah’s rather marvellously portrayed mother and housekeeper, and all in the best interests of her small son, Deborah is encouraged to take up some work, being the type of woman who can be seen as being a wife, rather than a mother, type. She moves to London, where she gets involved with some rather racketty women and situations, and embarks upon a series of affairs, each one a little seedier than the last. It is marvellous on the details of how it is done – she is shocked when something is presented as payment for services rendered, but keeps herself in perfume and stockings through “presents”, and her hats change as her situation does. Also, a brave book to publish in 1946, giving a very different side to the keeping the home fires burning narrative that to an extent still stands today.

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