Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The North family live in the country of England. They are an extremely happy and close family of four. Reading about their days is an absolute joy. Ellen, the wife and mother is totally at peace, loving her role as domestic goddess.
Louise, a French girl, arrives to be a companion to the North's elderly mother, who lives nearby. Louise is completely self absorbed and only out for what she can get. Her unhappy love affair in France has driven her to find ways to make her now married lover see that she has done very well for herself.
She sets her sights on Mr. North and soon has him ensnared with her charms. Mrs. North and teen aged daughter Anne see the two of them together one day on returning home early and their idyllic life is in tatters.
Rather than try to explain, Mr. North leaves with Louise and within weeks asks for divorce. Although so miserable, he believes that he cannot make things right with Ellen.
Dorothy Whipple writes with a deft hand at exuding both joy and sorrow in life and is a delight to read. This was her last book.
Although ending rather hopefully, it is full of the sadness of human frailty.
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