Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Unfinished Portrait - Mary Westmacott

Many years ago, back in college days, I'd once stumbled upon 'Absent in spring', while searching for another Agatha Christie whodunit. I was surprised to read the jacket which said something vague about Christie writing 'romance' novels under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott.

I'd picked it up on a whim, and completely loved it, which wasn't a romance by any stretch of imagination. Perhaps it could be called a study  I remember the story and its build up quite well, and I remember reading its quite satisfying ending and thinking ' yes people don't just change magically'. At that time I didn't know the internet existed, this was back in the stone ages when most of us wouldn't have email for another 3 years. So I never found anyone else to swap thoughts about it, since no one seemed to have read it. However, today while searching on the net, I found that Christie herself had described that book as something that satisfied her completely. I couldn't agree more.

This one, 'unfinished portrait', was equally moving, although it wasn't for its neat literary merit, like the previous one, but more for its raw emotion. Its probably the closest to an honest autobiography that covers the years of childhood and the initial years of the broken marriage. Although the world she lived in was very different, and I couldn't identify with some of the observations, there were other passages which resonated with me completely.

Although I found it boring in its description of childhood, the latter parts more than made up for it.

Was quite worth a read.

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