Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Marrying Kind by Elizabeth Cadell

Title: The Marrying Kind
Author: Elizabeth Cadell
Publication: William Morrow, hardcover, 1980
Genre: Fiction

US edition
Description: Laura and Jess Seton are sisters in their 20s who had an unconventional upbringing but remain very close.  Laura has chosen to stay in Crossford, the small and sometimes inaccessible town they mostly grew up in, while Jess prefers, London, 60 miles to the north, where she has dabbled in many careers – and apparently quite a few men as well.  When the story begins, Jess is concerned their charming artist father Claude may have embroiled himself in some kind of shady predicament with a painting, and visits Laura to warn her that  Finch Falconer who bought the Setons’ original home nearby is also involved.

UK edition,
breakfast at a French hotel
My Impression: Elizabeth Cadell (1903-1989) wrote light romantic fiction, usually set in England or Portugal, that remains amusing and charming long after their original publication date.   I periodically visit the shelves of the library where I grew up and check out her books to ensure they are not discarded.  Usually, after a chapter, the story comes back to me and I sigh with remembered pleasure and lean back against the cushions to enjoy.  This one was just as enjoyable but I didn’t remember it at all.   Two very different sisters – the story is told from Laura’s point of view – are worried about their father and Jess coaxes Laura to set off for France to find out what he is up to.   She keeps running into Finch Falconer, a rich businessman her father may have defrauded and with whom Laura, uncharacteristically, has had a negative encounter, ending in her backing into his car.   In France, however, they get along extremely well although Laura is very conscious that he has a fiancĂ© at home.  He is abrupt and lacking in communication skills, as are many of her heroes. Her heroines are usually independent, insightful, and intelligent.

As with all Cadell books, there is a lot of sarcastic repartee and actually finishing a sentence without interruption is rare (which I like – books where people go on for paragraphs without pausing are so unrealistic).  The leisurely sections in France contrast to chaotic episodes back in Crossford where unexpected guests turn up to disrupt Laura’s peaceful existence.  She puts up with it patiently while she waits for Finch to untangle himself from his fiancĂ© and Jess, used to breaking up with her men, finally finds one who ignores her and decides he is the one.

While nothing is as amusing as the trilogy about the Wayne family, every Cadell is entertaining and relaxing.  Of course, it turns out that, contrary to popular belief, the Seton sisters are the marrying kind.  While Cadell's plots are predictable, the reader isn't always sure how she'll get there, which is part of the fun.

New cover art
Links: Hooray!  Cadell family members and fans are bringing her books back into print! Buy one if you can to support this venture.  Paperback * eBook * Worldcat

Source: Library.  If you are a Cadell fan, have you read this one?

1 comment:

Katrina said...

I know I read several of her books back in the 1970s so it's probably about time I re-visited them. I'm sure the libraries in Fife get rid of books when they reach a certain age, it's so annoying as often they have discarded the early volumes in a series so you can't read it from the beginning.