Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple

Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple has been read and reviewed by a lot of my favourite bloggers and I’ve always just skimmed the reviews as I knew I wanted to read the book myself – eventually, so I had no idea what it was about really. I did like it, it’s well written and observed but it was the second book on the trot that I’d read about the break up of a long marriage in which the only mistake the wife seems to have made was that she trusted her husband too much.

The North family consists of Ellen and her husband Avery and two children, Hugh and Anne. They’re well off and live in the suburbs, not far from London. Their problems begin when old Mrs North, Avery’s widowed mother decides to advertise for a French companion. Mrs North feels that her son and his family don’t give her the time and consideration that she deserves, a paid companion who will pander to her every whim is exactly what she wants.

Ellen’s one flaw is that she doesn’t seem to realise that her husband is really a carbon copy of his mother. He’s selfish and immature and easy meat for an avaricious French woman. Louise might be younger than Ellen but she’s much more knowing where men are concerned and soon causes mayhem within the family.

This book was first published in 1953 at a time when divorce was beginning to be more common-place, but I found this to be a sad read and I did think to myself as I was reading it that I’d probably read a children’s Puffin book next, in an attempt to avoid the subject of divorce!

4 thoughts on “Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple

  1. Hi Katrina,
    I don’t know anything about Dorothy Whipple. Will have to look her up.
    And the subject of divorce is so sad when one half of the couple ends up on the “cast off” side of things. (Knitting terms for everything in life!)
    I think I will hug Ken a little harder tonight.

    • Judith,
      I love the knitting terms! At the moment what with all the horrible stuff in the news – I just want to read books that are a bit more uplifting.

  2. I’ve read a couple of Whipple’s books and enjoyed them. They’re difficult to find in the US. I’ve bought several as e-books, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *