Review: Someone at a Distance

Someone at a Distance Book CoverSomeone at a Distance
By Dorothy Whipple
Persephone Books
September 2008
420pp

The Short of It:

There’s nothing more tragic than a happy marriage, falling apart. BUT, given the subject matter, Someone at a Distance is wickedly good.

The Rest of It:

Ellen is the perfect housewife to Avery, and a doting mother to their two children Hugh and Anne. They live in a gorgeous house in a rural neighborhood just outside of London. Their lives are perfect, until Avery’s mother hires a French girl by the name of Louise to assist her with her day-to-day.

Louise is as venomous as they come. She’s conceited and has such grand ideas of what people think of her, that she considers herself much more than a personal assistant. No, she considers herself a member of the family and when she sets her sights on Avery, things go downhill quickly.

You would have said that there wasn’t a happier family anywhere. Yet disaster was sitting at the table in the form of the French girl. What a queer, chancy thing life was!

Someone at a Distance was a little slow in the beginning, but when Louise sinks her teeth into Avery the story picks up pace and I simply could not put it down. I cannot describe to you how evil Louise is. She’s probably one of the most well-written villains I’ve come across in quite a while.  Perhaps her vile ways were accentuated given the calmness of dear Ellen, the wife, but it’s good storytelling nonetheless.

This is the third Persephone book I’ve read and I have to say, they are quite charming. I tend to read them in bits, here and there as they are just so pleasurable to read but once I got into this story I raced through it.

This would be a lovely book to curl-up with on a rainy day.

Source: Purchased

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16 thoughts on “Review: Someone at a Distance”

    1. Some of them have heavier topics but most are just pleasant reads. I just love how they are put together. High quality bindings, gorgeous cover art (if you go with the colored covers) and good writing. They make excellent gifts. I keep buying them for myself though.

  1. I’m becoming a fan of Persephone books myself. I was thinking that they publish mostly books from the early 20th century, but I’m not sure about that. Is this book contemporary? It sounds intriguing, and I jotted down the title.

    > when Louise sinks her teeth into Avery the story picks up pace and I simply could not put it down. I cannot describe to you how evil Louise is. She’s probably one of the most well-written villains I’ve come across in quite a while.

    I love a good villain 🙂

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