Mrs. Parkington – Louis Brumfield (1942)

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I am not sure where I found this book title, but apparently it sounded like a good read so I bought it. And now it’s been read, what do I think? I think that this is an only just OK read (being a bit generous there). The main protagonist is a very wealthy and grumpy old woman who was married to a (now-dead) Robber Baron (which is how she got the wealth to begin with). She’s grumpy about the world that she lives in – everything is going to hell in a handbasket, apparently – and she’s disappointed about her entitled children. The only decent human is her granddaughter, Janie, and the third husband of one of her daughters who grew up in the same town in Nebraska that Mrs. P grew up in, and with whom Mrs. P. ends up having some weird relationship with and they leave town together…

I had misgivings early in the read when I saw phrases involving “a strong male arm that encircled her small feminine waist” but I told myself to keep reading – perhaps that was not too representative of the rest of the book.

Unfortunately, it was. 330 pages of crabbiness and predictable plot and purple prose.

I have no idea why I finished this book apart from sheer doggedness, and so into the charity pile it goes. Others may like it – this was made into a film in the 1940’s so it must have been popular to someone. However, it was not for me.

One good thing: it’s my first read of 2014 and the first one off the TBR pile! Out of the door it goes.

Note: Seeing as this book was printed in 1942 in the midst of the hardships caused by WWII, I thought this was a cool piece of history on the back of the title page…
Parkington first page

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