Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell

I had been looking for this book for ages and had to end up getting it from the internet. My other Thirkell books are all original old hardbacks but this one is a modern paperback from 1983 but the book was first published in 1934.

This one is mainly about the Leslie family and I was really glad that it featured the character of Lady Emily Leslie because she’s often mentioned in the later books as quite a few females in the Rushwater area have been called after her. She’s a much loved grande dame who is exasperating to everyone, particularly the vicar, but her charm and endearing scattiness allow her to get away with her eccentric behaviour.

Her son, David Leslie, is the youngest of her children and he’s a bit of a rake really. He has his mother’s charm but is using it in an entirely masculine way and has the young women just about fighting over him. Not that David cares, he’s only interested in himself and his plans to write a novel – or make a film – or join the BBC …!

Mary Preston has fallen for David so hard that she doesn’t realise that his brother John has fallen for her. John’s wife had died after only one year of marriage and after being a widower for over seven years it comes as a surprise to him that he can think of another woman again.

This is a typical Thirkell comfort read. The back cover says it is a delightful classic of the Thirties, and I agree with that.

Sir Compton Mackenzie said: ‘It is a novel of laughter with just enough sincere emotion… I have never recommended a novel about which I felt so certain that everybody would enjoy every page of it.’

6 thoughts on “Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell

  1. I need to read this one again, I didn’t care for it the first time. Except for Martin, the Leslies aren’t my favorite characters in the series – Agnes is even scattier than her mother, I think!

    • Lisa,
      I think I liked it because I knew an old lady who was so like Lady Emily and Agnes just says – ‘so annoying’ – no matter what happens. She reminds me of Granny who only ever said -‘oh bother’, no matter what disaster befell her, a bit like Winnie the Pooh!

    • Peggy Ann,
      I hope you’re enjoying Priorsford. I think you would enjoy Thirkells ‘Barsetshire’ books, they are better than the Ankle Deep one which you didn’t like much but I think the ones she wrote from about 1939, during the war are the best ones.

  2. I still want to try Thirkell! The library system I work for has zero Thirkell novels so I am going to try the library in the next city over.

    • Anbolyn,
      If you ever manage to get one I hope you enjoy it after all that trouble! I’ve just discovered that my library charges £4 for an ILL. They used to be free when I worked in libraries. It works out cheaper to buy second hand online!

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