Monday, November 15, 2010

Winter of Change - Discussion Thread

When Mary Jane stoutly says, 'Anyway, Grandfather isn't going to die', one of Fabian's more detestable comments is 'I am surprised that you, a nurse, should talk in such a fashion--you surely don't think that the Colonel wishes us to smother the truth in a froth of sickly sentiment.' Sympathy for someone who is grieving is, admittedly, thin on the ground in Neeldom, but Fabian's comment takes lack of sympathy to a whole new low. If I had been Mary Jane, this would have been my cue to throw something substantial (and possibly sharp) at Fabian. Evidently Fabian was not familiar with the K├╝bler-Ross model (five stages of grief). Mary Jane is in classic stage one - Denial.

Fabian is sorry that progress has lead to Hospital Matrons being called Principle Nursing Officers. I'm with him on this one. 'Matron' is quicker and easier to say than 'PNO' - which sounds more like the rank of a crewmember on a naval vessel.

Neels heroes are usually so unerring when it comes to ordering what the heroine likes. But Fabian gets her a dry sherry when she would have preferred a sweet one. In most of Neeldom, this would be the kiss of death for their relationship.

'They kept up desultory conversation as they ate--the kind of conversation, she told herself hopelessly, that one sustained with fellow patients in a dentist's waiting room...' Winter of Change is a difficult book but it has many of these sort of charming observations sprinkled in, which is just about the only redeeming feature of this book...to me.

Fabian drives a silver-grey pre-war Jag SS 100...not original but a modern version of it. Cousin Mervyn drives a Ford Capri. I'm not quite sure what to make of Fabian's car. Is it a replica? Perhaps he bought it as a kit car? If it's a replica then I'm afraid it falls smack in the middle of pretentious ostentationess. Cousin Mervyn drives exactly what you would expect a slimeball from Winnipeg to drive. Fabian guesses her measurements accurately! 34-22-35..or 6. He must either have a pretty keen eye, or lots of practice at guessing measurements. Or both.

1 comment:

  1. Betty Barbara here--
    Ah yes, Fabian's car. I suspect it was just a Panther de Ville in disguise (as the Panther dV's hadn't been built yet). One must wonder about our RDDs who want to drive around in cars looking like they belonged to WWII German Generals!!

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