Now Voyager (1941), by Olive Higgins Prouty

“Oh Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon!  We have the stars!” (Hodder and Stoughton edition, 1943, p.222). If you love classic movies, these words will resonate.  Bette Davis says them to Paul Henreid at the end of Now Voyager (1942), as he puts two cigarettes in his mouth, lights both and hands one to … Continue reading

All Hallows’ Eve by Charles Williams (1945)

All Hallows’ Eve is the last of Williams’ strange, supernatural thrillers and for me it is his most successful, the one in which plot, characterization  and theology  combine most effectively. The book opens vividly with a young woman, Lester Furnival, in an eerily deserted and oddly silent London. She meets her husband, Richard, who retreats … Continue reading

Religion in the middle-brow novels

One of the recurring themes in the middlebrow novels I have read as part of the Reading 1900-1950 project is religion, church teachings and theological in fighting. It struck me that maybe this is one of the reasons why a lot of these novels are no longer popular. These subjects are of far less interest … Continue reading

I’ll be off now…

Just a little post to say that this is my last day before I go on maternity leave! I won’t be administering the reading 1900-1950 blog but I am delighted to say that the members of our reading group don’t need me anymore – they are going to carrying on reading and posting on the … Continue reading

Just Like Aunt Bertha by W. Pett Ridge (1925)

Review by Helen N: The book centres round Aunt Bertha, a woman of resource who deals with both a professional life and sorting out all of her friends and acquaintances. They get into scrapes and she sorts them out, while being constantly criticised for interfering. It is a good-humoured book and written to entertain. Just … Continue reading

Juan in China by Eric Linklater (1937)

This Linklater novel is a sequel to his first big success, Juan in America (1931). Review by Helen C: Our young hero, Juan, has been persuaded to accompany his beloved Kuo Kuo to China, as she is determined to rescue China from destruction by ‘bandits, Communists, opium and the Japanese…’ There, he becomes involved in a … Continue reading

Middlebrow goes to the movies (again)

Review by Val H After posting on the 1933 film Christopher Strong (based on Gilbert Frankau’s novel), I have done more research on middlebrow novels and the film industry. What do screenwriters, directors and stars do with – or perhaps to – the novels we enjoy? And what do their films tell us about their … Continue reading