Aspects of Feeling

Peter Vansittart, Author Peter Owen Publishers $29.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-7206-0637-9
Dense, accomplished, but fatally reserved, veteran British writer Vansittart's new novel examines the lives of Sir Roger Kirkland, his common-law wife Janet and their three wards, Graham, Della and Bayard, moving elegantly among the British upper class. Sir Roger is a personage, consulted by powerful people and privy to their intrigues; Janet is a calm and beautiful consort, never invited to the soirees of the famous; Graham becomes a hero in WW II and, later, Roger's aide; poet Della has an affair with Graham but seems more interested in Bayard, who by his own account has lived so many lives before this one that nothing dismays himexcept Britain's role in the war and disregard of the Holocaust. Bayardrevealed to be Roger's illegitimate sonuncovers the scandalous activities of the Saratoga League, founded by his father. Killed in a mean cafe with only a pound in his pocket, Bayard provides the only real interest in this chilly novel, which is turbulent with words and allusions but deficient in ordinary warmth. (May 22)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1986
Release date: 10/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next