Love in a Cold Climate is the first Mitford novel I´ve read, and I have no idea why I waited this long. I absolutely loved this book! Most of you have probably already read it, but for those who haven´t, here´s a short summary:
Love in a Cold Climate is narrated by Fanny and describes life and the season of the English upper-class, specifically Fanny´s family and cousins, The Radletts, and how beautiful but cold Polly Hampton runs away with her mother´s lover `Boy´, her uncle, the Lecherous Lecturer (all the same person!).
This book is so wickedly funny, sporting such a bizarre cast of characters, that I get the feeling it is because of works such as this one, that English has so many synonyms for crazy! Fanny herself seems a very reasonable and somewhat boring albeit likable character, at least in comparison to the rest of the characters. Her mother is only referred to as The Bolter because she runs out on husband after husband, her uncle has the bizarre hobby of grooming the strangest diet I´ve ever heard of. The Radletts cousins are precocious, always talking about sex, and Polly´s mother, Lady Montdore is frankly terrifying. And those are not all characters! From what I´ve heard, Mitford´s own family could match her crazy characters perfectly. Guess she was writing what she knew 😉
Apart from being extremely eccentric, the characters were surprisingly three-dimensional and inspired empathy and sympathy in me. What I liked best about Love in a Cold Climate was Nancy Mitford´s biting humour, which made me laugh out loud with nearly every page and I used all my yellow post-it strips to mark wonderful passages.
And that´s really all I have to say about it. Why are reviews of favorite books always the shortest?
Some of my favorite passages:
“Burke makes it out just a shade more ancient than does Debrett, but both plunge back into the mists of medival times, from which they drag forth ancestors with P.G. Wodehouse names, Ugs and Berts and Threds, and Walter Scott fates.” (10)
“`Is Lord Aconleigh your uncle then? Isn´t he quite barmy? Doesn´t he hunt people with bloodhounds by full moon?´” (36)
“`I love being so dry in here,´ as Lady Montdore put it, ` and seeing all those poor people sp wet.´” (70)
“But on this occasion it was Lady Patricia who seemed half in the clouds, saying yes and no to Auntie Sadie and what a monstrous thing it was to let the Skilton village idiot out againspecially now it was known what a fast runner he was since he had won the asylum 100 yards.” (84)
“When the loo paper gets thicker and the writing- paper thinner it´s always a bad sign, at home.´” (172)
“Do people ever sound unhappy on postcards, Fanny? Isn´t it always lovely weather and everything wonderful, on postcards?” (173)
I can´t wait to read her other works but I´ve also already got The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh from the library. Have you read Mitford´s other works? Are they as great as this one?
Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I´ll add a link.