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Nightingale Wood (1938)

by Stella Gibbons(Favorite Author)
3.62 of 5 Votes: 3
1844085724 (ISBN13: 9781844085729)
review 1: I love Stella Gibbon's wickedly funny "Cold Comfort Farm." There is still a good dose of her wit and biting observations in this later novel, but I found this pre-WWII anti-romantic classist comedy to be dreary and interminable. In the end, all of the loose ends are tidied away in the most fitting way, whether or not it brings happiness, but the lack of sympathetic characters and a pervading bleakness makes everything feel flat and disengaging. One thing that was interesting is how much light the novelist sheds on the conventions of the period and especially on the stock characters of the era, and I'd like to reread Dorothy Sayers' "Clouds of Witness" and "Stong Poison" in that light.
review 2: More a two and a half than a three- It passed, but barely. Stella G
... moreibbons' cleverness is evident here -her biting, honest descriptions of her characters' personalities and habits are this novel's saving grace- but the plot meanders and drags, too many characters seem pointless, and others would have benefited for more screen time that could have been achieved through sacrificing the less important ones (Hetty, while not exactly likable, was at least interesting and sympathetic- Much more so than Viola herself, whom I merely pitied, and her all-too-rare appearances were a bright spot in the often gratuitously dreary narrative). By the last 1/4 of the book I could sense Stella Gibbons running out of steam, and a certain important event that occurred toward the end seemed like it only happened because she had no idea where the story was going and needed something to shake up the plot- But then nothing came of it, and some characters' fates and the choices they made in relation to them didn't seem to match up with what was said of them earlier in the story. 'Nightingale Wood' was ultimately a disappointment- Entertaining at times, but I'd hesitate to recommend it. less
Reviews (see all)
Not as clever as Cold Comfort Farm but a fun read with real period insights.
Charming story. Wish there was a movie of it. Romantic and fun. Loved it.
A bit light and frothy but enjoyable.
Loved it!
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