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Not That Sort of Girl by Mary Wesley
  

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June 2014 Guest Editor Freya North on Not That Sort of Girl...

Mary Wesley, Rose Tremain, Barbara Trapido and Jane Gardam – I really do owe my career to them. But this book in particular really did change the course of my life. I read it during my finals at University after which I headed off to do an MA and was all set to start a PhD in Art History. But deep down I knew that all I really wanted to do was write fiction. I love the way that Mary Wesley marries gentle romance with quite surprising sexiness in all her novels – but here in particular. For over fifty years, Rose is loyal to her husband Ned while also maintaining a relationship Milo. I loved the way this novel puts our perception of morality in a centrifuge – there’s nothing dissolute or duplicitous about either of Rose’s relationships, rather it’s about enduring love. This book really proves how commercial fiction can be deceptively simply – a pleasure to read through the clever, beautifully written and thoughtfully woven layers.

If you like Mary Wesley you might also like to read books by Victoria Routledge, Elizabeth Buchan and Susan Barrett.

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Synopsis

Not That Sort of Girl by Mary Wesley

When, on the night of their wedding, Ned asks his new wife Rose to promise that she will never leave him, Rose is quick to give her aristocratic husband her word: keeping it, however, proves harder. For even on the day when she has promised to forsake all others, Rose's heart is with the true love of her life, Mylo, the penniless but passionate Frenchman who, within five minutes of their meeting declared his love and asked her to marry him. Whilst Rose remains true to her promise never to leave Ned, not even the war, social conventions, nor the prying of her overly inquisitive and cheerfully immoral neighbours, can stop her and Mylo from meeting and loving one another.


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Reviews

'Mistress of the dark side of upper-class mores' -- Kathryn Hughes Observer

'Spare, well-crafted prose and a mixture of racy gentility, humour and unconventionality' Scotsman

About the Author

Mary Wesley was born near Windsor in 1912. Her education took her to the London School of Economics and during the War she worked in the War Office. Although she initially fulfilled her parents' expectations in marrying an aristocrat she then scandalised them when she divorced him in 1945 and moved in with the great love of her life, Eric Siepmann. The couple married in 1952, once his wife had finally been persuaded to divorce him. She used to comment that her 'chief claim to fame is arrested development, getting my first novel Jumping the Queue published at the age of seventy'. She went on to write a further nine novels, three of which were adapted for television, including the best-selling The Camomile Lawn. Mary Wesley was awarded the CBE in the 1995 New Year's honour list and died in 2002.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st June 2006

Author

Mary Wesley

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Publisher

Vintage

Format

Paperback
288 pages

Categories

Romantic Fiction
Historical Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780099499121

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