- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown; New edition edition (August 7, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844084949
- ISBN-13: 978-1844084944
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tortoise and the Hare Paperback – August 7, 2008
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As smooth and seductive as a bowl of cream―Hilary Mantel
One of my favourite classics. Elegant and ironic, its continuing charm lies in its quirky and enigmatic love story which becomes more beguiling with each re-reading―Carmen Callil
My best book of almost all time is THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE by Elizabeth Jenkins ... wonderfully sinister, so enchantingly written and so sad. Everyone should read it―Jilly Cooper
Deliciously subtle...A lost world of tweeds and twin-sets...a classic novel of the fifties―DAILY MAIL
About the Author
Elizabeth Jenkins, the distinguished biographer (of Jane Austen, Lady Caroline Lamb and Elizabeth I), historian and novelist, lives in Hampstead, London; she was awarded the OBE in 1981. THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE, her sixth novel, was first published in 1953, and is generally considered her greatest work of fiction.
Top customer reviews
A story of a domestic situation that goes awry in the most improbable way.
Every page fills one with anticipation of the next and as Hilary Mantel, who writes the introduction, ( another of my very favourite British writers) says "who will put on the page a beautiful sentence, a sentence you will want to read twice". I found myself doing this many times throughout the book; such is the beauty of the prose.
There is nothing about this book that can in any way be seen in a negative sense. The characters are full, the story line, although common enough with the straying husband, is compelling and the exquisite descriptions of place are quite incredible.
Elizabeth Jenkins was quite prolific in both biographical and fictitious writing and as this is the first I have read I will be hunting down anything with her name on it.
Jenkins was a close friend of Elizabeth Bowen and although there is some similarity in their writing I feel Jenkins has the superior skill.
Highly recommended. This is a book that you will be sorry to finish and will never forget.
But this book though slow moving -and I didn't mind that - was strange and pathetic especially with the women characters.
Every step Blanche took to inching into their lives -Imogene did nothing.
She didn't fight back -she didn't try to keep Evelyn she allows it to happen.
And then when it finally did come to a show down -all she can do is yell "how dare you" a couple of times and that's it.
And the whole thing with Gavin -what a snot nosed little brat. He should have been spanked.
The only redeeming thing about the story was her friends Cecil, Hunter, Paul and of course the adorable Tim.
Her relationship with Tim - her surrogate son -made up for much.
Evelyn was a thoroughly unlikeable character who seemed very self absorbed who needs a woman like Blanche to whip him into shape.
And god forbid Imogene keeps the plates the way she wants them -so silly.
But overall Imogene seemed like a fragile woman who let life trample over her.
Imogen is a domestic, preferring home over hunting or any of the other country pursuits that her husband engages in. It's partly due to this as well that their relationship becomes fraught with tension. They have nothing in common, so it's really no wonder that Evelyn turns to an older woman (one much closer in age to him than Imogen is) for, at the very least, friendship. It's an odd affair; usually the femme fatale is a younger, not some staid, aging spinster. So the whole dynamic of the novel shifts. It's perfectly natural that Evelyn and Blanche should become friends; but their relationship isn't wholly natural. I still can't quite figure things out.
What I loved about this book was Imogen's reaction to the whole affair; it's because of it, and her discovery of what's going on, that she grows and matures as a person. When I began to read this novel, Imogen more or less faded into the background; she really wasn't compelling enough as a main character, and so I really didn't become attached to her right away. But the more I read, the more I liked her. She displays a quiet strength as she faces Evelyn and Blache's affair hat I found quite admirable. I don't think that a lot of people in her situation, with her kind of personality, would have the strength to do what she does in the end. And she gets major points for putting up with Evelyn for all those years! Elizabeth Jenkins has been compared to Jane Austen and Barbara Pym; there's less humor in The Tortoise and the Hare, but it's still a wonderful novel.
Elizabeth Jenkins was a biographer who was best known for her biographies of Elizabeth I and Jane Austen. She passed away last month, aged 105.
Most recent customer reviews
very slim chance I,d ever read another.Read more
What made it at once so much fun to read and so satisfying as a work...Read more