#Novel Grand Days
Finish date: 20 May 2022
Review: Grand Days (ISBN: 9780143790907)
- Grand Days by Frank Moorhouse….
- …not very enthusiastic about reading this book.
- …but I promised Brona’s Books I would at least give it a chance.
- I read the introduction, acknowledgements and list of characters.
- The plot revolves around a young Australian diplomat Edith
- …her job in Geneva and the creation of The League of Nations after WW I.
- I finished the book….but don’t ask me how many times I wanted to stop!
- This book published in 1993 failed to impress me.
- The story based on the early days of the League of Nations
- and all that were involved in its inception had potential.
- Unfortunately Frank Moorhouse decided it need some “spice”.
- Sex sells books…you already know that…
- but this erotic romance and sexual aspects of love
- between Edith and a cross-dressing Englishman written 30 years ago
- is #CringeWorthy.
- Style: the writing itself is repetitive, verbose, and excessive
- …670 tedious pages.
- There are SO many great books to read….
- …time make a cup of coffee and ….move on.
- Here are some of my notes…..when I was still optimistic
- …still hoping I’d found a book I could enjoy.
- Stupid me.
- There was a lot to unpack in chapter one.
- Edith (26 yr) is the character to watch.
- She has created a list of “Ways” of Going she must refine and practice.
- Ways of Circumspection, All Doors, Compainable Confession, Cowardly Flight
- …just to name a few.
- These “Ways” felt very gimmicky and I do hope
- Moorhouse just uses them in the first chapter.
- I had to persevere through 12 pages of Edith trying to guess if her male
- companion on the train Paris–> Geneva was gay or not.
- #CringeWorthy writing.
- The chapter felt like a chess game in which Edith and Ambrose
- start with flirtation….teasing….and end with seduction.
- The reader is waiting to see who will ….say: “Check mate”.
- Ambrose wants to titillate
- …..Edith wants to shock.
- But to learn if Edith will experience a change in character it is important
- to learn what she is afraid of:
- — being seen as unworldly
- — not being considered equal to male companions/co-workers.
- We shall see…
Internal dialoge: What is Edith thinking…..but not always telling others.
- I have already made an enemy….behaved improperly. (pg 52)
- I have been made to look a fool… (pg 52)
- I can handle this crew, she thought, I am not fazed by these people. (pg 53)
Apologies /holds herself back many times
- She asked in hesitant voice, hoping she was not too forward… (pg 41)
- She felt then that she’d asserted enough for one day.
- She thought she’d better SHRINK back to being more charming and womanly… (pg 63)
- She regretted her boast as unwomanly, but moved quickly to undercut it (pg 65)
- She contemplated taking him (romantic evening)
- …but she held back her desire for further carnality (pg 69)
But….Edith is NOT A shrinking violet, not buy a long shot!
- She decided that she wanted things to unfold
- and shetakes the romantic leadership!
- She wanted to be experienced as a woman,
- …fully and finally, and this man would….do just nicely.
- Asks: “Will we dine together?” (pg 41)
- She leaned over and put her hand on Ambrose’s. (pg 62)
- Asks” “Perhaps we could do smth together at the week-end?” (pg 65)
I had to laugh at some of the euphemisms used:
- “…of the Greek way?” – “…the way of Oscar Wilde?” (gay)
- “…they found their carnal way…”
Edith wants to be taken seriously, feel in control yet she sends out opposite signals!
- “..helpless laugh“
- “she admitted she hoped HE would guide her in her work
- “…I’m hear to learn. I am a bemused and lost colonial lass.” (What?)
- Getting more of an impression who Edith feels she is!
- Not a shrinking violet!
- Reads a book at a café table “…make it clear to anyone
- she is NOT an available woman.” (pg 75)
- When a man gazes at her thinking she was available
- (another cringeworthy euphemism), “part of the Traffic in Women”
- Edith’s internal dialogue reveals:
- “Perhaps she should experience that, going with
- …a man for money. Once” (78)
- I can’t help but feel Edith has an exaggerated sense of self-worth
- ...just full of herself!
- “Just appearing cosmopolitan was enough, for now.” (pg 78)
- “She felt that her inner self was immensely empowered
- by her status as a League official…” (pg 78)
- Edith feels she is NOT at the bottom of the food chain as an intern.
- She ponders about the messengers and Roneo operators….
- — “She would have to begin setting a mighty fine example.
- When she’d got “being international’ right, that is.” (pg 75)
- Finally there is some intrigue in the narrative.
- Stupidly Edith speaks to strangers at the café about the League
- …gives them her business card (name).
- Back at the office she get’s a proper dressing down from her superior.
- The ‘stranger’ sent her a gift: ladies handbag revolver!
- She shows it to Ambrose ….they argue…she must send it back!
- Edith feels a spurt of power having and firing a pistol….she’s going to keep it!
- I have a feeling this is NOT the ‘fine example’ she should be giving to others!
- Sounds like the start of trouble for our ‘pretentious little Edith’ !