Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy

The Constant Nymph by Margaret KennedyAlbert Sanger was a brilliant composer, English by blood, European by choice; a man of loose morals and unpredictable temperament. Following in his wake (and footsteps) is a managerie of children, both legitimate and not. This story focuses on primarily two of these children, Antonia and Tessa, (Tessa being the Constant Nymph of the title) and a young composer named Lewis Dodd whose intimate ties with the family will have far reaching effects...

So this was pretty fascinating. In some ways I couldn't help but think of the old movie "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" when the bride arrives home only to find instead of a haven, bedlam and destruction with seven men~ her new relatives~ living like animals. This was kind of like that. Sanger's children have had no training other than an intense life-course in music. They enjoy life (or at least accept life) as they find it, but know nothing of traditional education, social graces, culture etc. They live wild and free. That is, until that momentous day when Albert Sanger dies suddenly without a penny and an aunt from England arrives to "rescue" the unfortunate children...

At times, this is a very amusing story; and yet its not a funny book. It has an almost tragic "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" feel to it. We want happiness for the characters and yet shudder to think what that may mean..

FYI: There is a sequel to this called "The Fool of The Family", which focuses on Caryl, the oldest son, a violinist.

SEX: Talk of mistresses and loose living. Nothing intimate shown to reader.
PROFANITY: Mild (D's, B's)

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