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E. M. Delafield

Book Overview: 

Set in late Victorian England, “Consequences” follows the life of Alexandra Clare, a girl born into an upper class Catholic London family. Raised from birth for the privileged life of a wife and mother, Alexandra never quite fits in with her or her family’s expectations and fails at seemingly everything she tries – school, the marriage market, family life.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Queenie."

"No, they aren't," Alex contradicted mechanically.

"Well, Marie and Diana are, anyway." She looked slyly at Cedric. "Don't you think so, Cedric?"

"How can I tell whether they are any nicer, as you call it, than another kid whom I've never seen?" inquired Cedric reasonably.

"But didn't you like Marie?"

"She's all right."

Barbara giggled in the way most disliked by her family, the authorities of whom stigmatized the habit as "vulgar," and Cedric said severely:

"I shouldn't think decent girls would want to play with you at all, if you don't leave off that idiotic trick of cackling."

But Barbara, who was not at all easily crushed, continued to giggle silently at intervals.

"Why are you so silly?" Alex asked her crossly, as they were going to bed that night.

She and Barbara shared a room at Fiveapples Farm.

Barbara whined the inevitable contradiction, "I'm not silly,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was such a good read. Delafield denounces the Victorian mentality. Yet she is not gentle towards the protagonist either – it’s not just others’ failings, it’s also hers. Alex Clare, the protagonist, is unable to find love and understanding, although she is desperate for a real human connection.

In one of the appendices to the Persephone edition of Consequences, the New York Times Book Review from 9 November 1919 is reprinted. Not only does it take the opportunity to take a potshot at English culture and practises of child-rearing, but it also describes the protagonist of the book, Alex Cla

I adored the first half of the book, and found it witty and playful with the sort of writing I love from Persephone books. The second half however dragged on for me, and seemed to lose steam around the 300 page mark... the final part of the book was very sad but also seemed a bit pointless, as thoug

Poignant, tragic, and so so readable/hard to put down - practically a one-session read for me even at 400+ pages!

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