More of the Brangwen histrionics has most certainly not endeared me to Mr. Lawrence, as I had hoped. Since Women in Love was a continuation of The Rainbow, with the Brangwen sisters growing into young womanhood, I’d expected some revelations of wisdom on their behalves, but was instead subjected to more inane, adolescent angst, not even slightly interesting.
To make it clear and attempting to not give away any details, when one of the sister’s love interests considers killing her, I secretly wished he would and thought, well here’s someone who sees it from my perspective, but alas, he only had the fantasy and not the fortitude to carry it through.
We again meet Ursula Brangwen who takes up with Rupert Birkin. This couple behave like teenagers, rather than young adults and eventually marry, though why is anybody’s guess. The only reason I didn’t totally despise Ursual this go around was due to the presence of her sister, Gudrun who took over that role.
The artiste, Gudrun Brangwen becomes involved with the wealthy coal tycoon, Gerald Crich, who comes from a family whose middle name should be tragedy. Gudrun and Gerald torment each other (along with this reader) from England to Paris and the Alps which, not surprisingly comes to an unfortunate end.
Rupert Birkin is a weasely sadistic man who is sickly and self-absorbed. Why he is able to have any relationships is a wonder, yet I suppose he and Ursuala deserve one another.
Gerald Crich’s family history would have been a much better novel. There is an accidental shooting during Gerald’s childhood, a mentally ill sister, a dying father and an odd and detached mother. Gudrun’s self involvement prevents her from seeing the predestined tragedy that befalls Gerald.
A misnomer has occured and a more apt title would be Women in Love…with themselves.
Since Mr. Lawrence has not grown on me, were I to be in his company, I would attempt a discussion on all things non literary.
My rating for Women in Love is a 6 out of 10.
To see the entire list, visit Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels.
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