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Part of the Furniture (1997)
by Mary Wesley
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140266283, Paperback)The heroine of Mary Wesley's latest novel, Part of the Furniture, is 17- year-old Juno Marlowe, a girl possessed of both extraordinary innocence and remarkable courage. We first meet Juno during the World War II blitz of London; she is suffering the twin effects of rape and having to sleep next to a dead stranger during an air raid. Other novelists might have chosen to plumb these traumatic events for several chapters at least, but Wesley gives them no more time than she thinks they deserve and then moves quickly on to the heart of her story, which takes Juno far away to the western corner of England to deliver a letter from the dead man to his family. Here Juno meets the stranger's father, a man considerably older than herself, and finds her soulmate.
If there's such a thing as a steely-eyed romantic, Mary Wesley is one. On the one hand, she deals with death, rape, and other horrors with unsentimental straightforwardness and humor as black as a coal cellar; on the other, she is a firm believer in love's ability to heal even the deepest wounds. The pleasure of reading Part of the Furniture is observing this surprising marriage of love and pragmatism, as well as the unexpected twists and turns Wesley throws into her tale of loving during wartime.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:43 -0400)
When Juno Marlowe finds herself caught in the middle of a London air raid, she is quickly rescued by an elegant gentleman who offers her shelter and a mysterious invitation to his father's country estate. The next morning he is dead, and she is once again alone with nowhere to go. At seventeen, Juno is used to feeling invisible, but now, without family and friends, she finds herself desperately in need of companionship, some warm clothes, and above all, a life as more than part of the furniture. How Juno finds this and more is beautifully related in this irresistible novel from one of our most enchanting writers.
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