Wild Strawberries : A Virago Modern Classic, Paperback Book

Wild Strawberries : A Virago Modern Classic Paperback

Part of the Virago Modern Classics series

3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Pretty, impecunious Mary Preston, newly arrived as a guest of her Aunt Agnes at the magnificent wooded estate of Rushwater, falls head over heels for handsome playboy David Leslie.

Meanwhile, Agnes and her mother, the eccentric matriarch Lady Emily, have hopes of a different, more suitable match for Mary.

At the lavish Rushwater dance party, her future happiness hangs in the balance . . .


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781844088843

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

A wealthy British family flits about in the summertime. There's a romance, what it is clear from the beginning how it will come out. The caricatures of types are deft and often laugh-out-loud funny--indeed, a number of passages are downright brilliant in their humor. The romance, despite its predictability, has some genuinely tender moments. I just sort of ran out of interest in the story before it was over--similar to the way I often run out of interest in Wodehouse's nonsense before he's quite done bringing it off.

Review by

This is my fourth experience reading Angela Thirkell's novels, which imagine Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire in the early 20th century, between the world wars. <i>Wild Strawberries</i> is the fourth in her Barsetshire series, and a wonderful romantic comedy. Mary Preston arrives for an extended visit with the Leslie family (aunt, uncle, and cousins), and finds herself the object of younger brother David's flirtations. Older brother John, a widower, looks on with quiet interest, and conflicted feelings about getting involved in a relationship himself. The crazy Leslie family surrounds them, including dotty aunt Emily and her daughter Agnes, who is forever preoccupied with her young children. There are also funny ancillary characters, like the pompous Mr. Holt, who comes to visit Emily's gardens, and the French family who rents the Vicarage for the summer. As with Trollope's novels, the ending is often predictable, but the journey is usually not linear. I admit to cringing at one point, when David made up a horribly racist song. In these situations I try telling myself this novel is "of its time," and move swiftly on. With the exception of those few pages, <i>Wild Strawberries</i> made me smile and laugh several times, and was a very pleasant way to pass the time.

Review by

What a strange animal this book is. How can I describe the narrative voice? Sincere, and not a little bit naive and stupid--and you can't entirely tell whether the dopiness is in earnest or whether you are being trolled at some level.<br/><br/>Sweet, sometimes a bit funny or very gently satirical, with one casual SUPER RACIST incident. Yipes. This seems old-fashioned even for something written in the 1930s.<br/><br/>Also worth noting that the book is set in Barsetshire, the fictional county where Anthony Trollope set his books. I'm not really sure <i>why</i> it's set there--was Thirkell a Trollope fan? Because I would never have known there was a connection, and it certainly didn't affect anything about my perception of the book.

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