#13 Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift

31147620Though the premise of this book hinges on a romantic liaison, to call this book “a romance” is misleading. There is no bodice-ripping, no Fabio, no throbbing love muscle. I almost didn’t pick it up because of that label.

Think of “romance” in the best sense, it can be sexy, confusing, satisfying, transformative. A young maid on an estate and a young heir of a neighboring manor engage in a tryst that, in one afternoon, realigns the trajectory of their lives. Her life after this one Sunday is changed forever, setting her on a course of self discovery and exploration. She is awakened to the prospect of a different life, she is changed.

I won’t spoil here what leads to this realignment, for that would reveal the heart of the plot. I will say that the more I read, the more I enjoyed the book. I relished the elegance of the prose, and the hazy briefness, so full of longing and sadness, of their romantic encounter. A lovely read.

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