A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mrs. Hawkins is a young war widow in 1954 England. She is hard-working, sensible and more than a little plump. She lives in a boarding house in South Kensington and enjoys her various housemates. She is on good terms with co-workers in her job at the publishing firm, with the exception of Hector Bartlett. He is an unctuous ingratiating literary hack and she cannot help herself from expressing what she thinks of him, calling him a derogatory term in French.
This causes a series of events that ultimately leads to tragedy for one of her housemates. As she continues on in two more literary jobs, she decides to trim down her weight. She very simply decides to just eat only half of what she usually does or is given with great success.
At this point she decides to be called Nancy rather than Mrs. Hawkins. She formerly thought that Mrs. Hawkins more suited her fat, matronly self and she no longer was that.
I really liked the character of Mrs. Hawkins and her perseverance with her life and helpful advice to others. Murial Spark gives her characters personalities that are understandable as real people.
View all my reviews