I chose to read this book because Jane Brocket (The Gentle Arts of Domesticity) recommended Elizabeth Taylor – she recommended At Mrs Lippincote’s – however, The Blushwas the only Elizabeth Taylor book I could lay my hands on (I bought it from Ebay).
Here is the blurb on the back …
In these short stories, first published in 1958, Elizabeth Taylor pursues the nuances of ordinary life with her usual dexterity. There is the upright Mrs Allen who unwittingly provides an alibi for Mrs Lacey, her ‘slackly corseted’ home help; Emily who has written fluent and amusing letters to a distinguished novelist for ten years but descends into small talk when they meet; Katie, Natalie and Frances, preparing for their first dance amidst a cloud of talcum powder and bathroom giggles; and the strained conversation between ex-lovers Peter and Catherine at her children’s seaside Barbecue. ‘Here Mrs Taylor displays her gift – her extraordinary gift – for sheer situation – not a tale here fails to expand in the imagination of the reader’ – Elizabeth Bowen.
I did enjoy these stories they have an old world charm – very middle England. The situations are ordinary, but vividly described and the inner life of the characters is described in an unsentimental manner that none the less makes you feel their pain, frustration, etc. These stories are all about character, so if you like a story ‘where nothing really happens’ then these stories are for you.
I’m definitely going to track down some more Elizabeth Taylor novels probably from here.