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The Fool of the Family Hardcover – January 1, 1930
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Sequel to "The Constant Nymph" and continuing with the story of Sanger's least promising of children, the staid and sensible Caryl Sanger.
Caryl is just getting the sack after a music hall performance when he sets eyes on Fenella. Fenella is bored with her own life and in love with the idea of "living dangerously". A musician getting the sack from an extemporaneous musical score seems to fit the bill nicely in her eyes and subsequently they fall madly in love.
Things could have gone on famously if one, her parents were for it (which they weren't), and two, if Caryl's brother Sebastian didn't keep turning up like a bad penny to spoil everything, albeit unintentionally, (which he did).
And this book is really just as much about Sebastian as it is about Caryl; about their love/ hate relationship as well as the women that come between them and the ties that forever bind them to eachother ~ music.
So I really love Margaret Kennedy. Her ability to portray multiple personalities with all their human foibles and make them breathe is truly remarkable.
However I'm a bit torn on my enjoyment of this. Most of the characters disappointed me in their actions. I really wanted someone to be worthy of Caryl's love and loyalty and I never really felt he was getting what was due him. I wanted something different to come of things. But the ending was very clever and powerful, really it was perfect. And who am I to question people's happiness?
Another masterful novel by one of the "Greats" in storytelling.
SEX: Frank encounters and talk of mistresses but no intimacy shown to reader.
VIOLENCE: A few knockouts (mild)
MY RATING: PG