Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont Hardcover – Aug 26 1971
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'A wonderful novelist' -- JILLY COOPER
'An eye as sharply all seeing as her prose style is elegant even the humdrum becomes astonishing' -- DAILY TELEGRAPH
'Brilliantly amusing' -- ROSAMOND LEHMANN
'How skilfully and with what peculiar exhilaration she negotiated the minefield of the human heart' -- JONATHAN KEATES --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975) was born and educated in Reading. After leaving school she worked as a governess and later in a library. She lived much of her married life in the village of Penn in Buckinghamshire. In 1984 ANGEL was selected by the Book Marketing Council's 'Best Novels of Our Time'. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
When she falls while walking one day, Mrs. Palfrey is rescued by Ludovic Meyer, a struggling young writer. Because of his kindness and her pleasure in his attention, she invites him to dinner, where the residents assume he is her grandson Desmond. Ludo/Desmond is everything that the other residents of the hotel long for--he genuinely cares for Mrs. Palfrey, he listens to her, and he recognizes her value. Having never known a normal family life, Ludo needs Mrs. Palfrey as much as she needs him, and she happily becomes his much-appreciated "grandmother."
As the two develop a close relationship, Mrs. Palfrey reminisces about her life, and Ludo, having failed in past relationships, begins to understand what love means, blossoming under her attention. Ludo subsequently takes notes for a story he plans to write about her life and her experiences at the Claremont, where the informal motto is "We Aren't Allowed to Die Here." As time passes and life becomes more complicated for both of them, their relationship is tested.
Filled with eccentric characters who respond to aging in different ways, this 1975 novel shows a feisty Mrs. Palfrey challenging convention by reveling in her relationship with Ludo. With an unerring eye for the telling detail and the perfectly revealing comment, the author brings universal themes to vibrant life--the passage of time, the aging process, the compromises we make, and our continuing need to be accepted. The author never resorts to caricature as she makes her wry observations, respecting her characters even when presenting them in sometimes darkly comic scenes. In this unusual and ironic masterpiece, old age is shown as a stage in life, one in which rewards and happiness are more important than the inevitable conclusion. Mary Whipple
Ludo, unlike her real grandson, is a delightful, attentive and interesting young man. He is preparing a novel -"We aren't allowed to die here"- and first draws on their encounters as a form of research, but their friendship grows on the basis of mutual respect and beautiful conversations.
I would not have picked this up if it had not been for a personal recommendation and I was delighted by it.