Christopher Strong – Gilbert Frankau

A book originally published in 1932 by a then popular author who has gone out of fashion, probably because of his right wing views and talent for upsetting people!

The book is another of the auction lot books and was billed as a romance, which isn’t my usual thing but I thought I’d give it a go.

The story is, in essence, respectable married man meets younger woman and they fall in love though trying to resist temptation. Eventually, they give in to temptation but it doesn’t end happily.

What I liked about this book was the way the female characters were written. They were written as people with minds, attitudes and opinions of their own. They displayed courage of different sorts and they didn’t just sit around waiting for things to happen to them. They generally had more depth than the male characters in the story.

The main character, Christopher, was well drawn too. You see him evolve from smug, middle-aged success to a man less certain of his place in the world and more willing to see other points of view.

That said, there was definitely an element of “just get on with it” about the book. It could probably have done with a good editor and some judicious pruning.

I’m glad I read it but I won’t be rushing out to find any more of Gilbert Frankau’s books.

N.B. The book was turned into a film in 1933, giving Katherine Hepburn her first starring role. The picture at the top is from the film.

 

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