The Blessing, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


"The Blessing" by Nancy Mitford with an introduction by Alex Kapranos.

It isn't just Nanny who finds it difficult in France when Grace and her young son Sigi are finally able to join her dashing aristocratic husband Charles-Edouard after the war.

For Grace is out of her depth among the fashionably dressed and immaculately coiffured French women, and shocked by their relentless gossiping and bed hopping.

When she discovers her husband's tendency to lust after every pretty girl he sees, it looks like trouble. And things get even more complicated when little Sigi steps in..."The Blessing" is a hilarious tale of love, fidelity, and the English abroad, tailored as brilliantly as a New Look Dior suit. "Entirely original, inimitable and irresistible". ("Spectator"). "Deliciously funny". (Evelyn Waugh). "Utter, utter bliss". ("Daily Mail"). Nancy Mitford was the eldest of the infamous Mitford sisters, known for her membership in 'The Bright Young Things' clique of the 1920s and an intimate of Evelyn Waugh; she produced witty, satirical novels with a cast of characters taken directly from the aristocratic social scene of which she was a part. Her novels, "Wigs on the Green", "The Pursuit of Love", "The Blessing" and "Don't Tell Alfred", are available in single paperback editions from Penguin or as part of "The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford" which also includes "Highland Fling", "Christmas Pudding" and "Pigeon Pie".

This edition of "The Blessing" features a new introduction by Alex Kapranos.




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It does feel good to read another Nancy Mitford. Her style is easily spotted in a crowd, I find. Her wit is sharp, to the point, her characters unforgettable and The Blessing is no exception. Such eccentricity in one book, it's amazing how she does it without making it too cliché. I found the essentialist statements to be well below her usual standards (the constant French/English comparisons are frankly strange though it has a context at least) but on the other hand in one scene one of her best characters convinces another one that homosexuality is no worse or better than heterosexuality. I was bracing myself for the inevitable moment when it would be linked to misogyny (in a 'you see, men are so much superior to women, who can blame men for fancying other men' sort of way) but surprisingly enough it wasn't. Such an unexpected relief.<br/><br/>Overall an entertaining book, though not her best it's a good, fun story.

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