Details for 'Absolutely and forever' by Rose Tremain

Absolutely and forever

by Rose Tremain
A wonderful novella telling the tale of Marianne Clifford, unhappy in love and trying to make her way in London and the provinces in the 1960s.
Absolutely and forever
by Rose Tremain
My review:

I'm a huge fan of Rose Tremain. She always surprises with her books. You never know what you're going to get next. And I just loved this!

It's set in the 1960s and felt to me in the spirit of 'I Capture the Castle' with its wistful, melancholy coming-of-age and failed love affairs. A novella, the story is slight, but it's so enjoyable and immersive. I loved it and was sorry to come to the end, though was glad Marianne had a resolution.

Marianne Clifford is the daughter of a colonel and his self-obsessed wife. She is young and impressionable when she falls for Simon Hurst. He's 18, a few years older than her and destined for great things, doted on by his parents and admired by others in their social circle.

Simon and Marianne vow to be together always, but Simon's life takes a different course. He leaves for Paris so Marianne moves to Chelsea and tries to make her own way. But she can never let go of her dream of Simon.

We have a wry, ironic, self-effacing narrator in Marianne. She claims to be ignorant, insignificant and unassuming, her life measured in terms of how she is perceived by others, but she is so much more. As we read between the lines, we long for the scales to drop from her eyes. 

It's a brilliant book which I loved reading for the simplicity and ease of the storytelling, but which has stayed with me long since, and where I want to meet Marianne once more. 

Date of my review September 2023
Book publication date: 21st September 2023