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Dangerous Ages by Rose Macaulay

Dangerous Ages (1921)

by Rose Macaulay

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or, perhaps, woman beware woman. The dangerous ages are anything between 20 and 80 - and Macaulay waspishly delineates the perils of them all - the great grandmother sailing serenely into old age at one end and the young girl taking what she wants at the other - in between different dissatisfactions - the mother who can't recover her youthful intellectual brilliance and the mother who lives through her disengaged children; the career woman who denies herself the consolations of love and, somewhere around the centre, the virtuous lesbian doing good works in hoxton. This book is stylish, clever and waspish - and in many ways cruelly perceptive. I prefer the slightly softer and more rounded macaulay that comes with her later books, but this is both bracing and a good read
  otterley | Feb 14, 2013 |
Written in 1921 and winner of the Prix Femina-Vie Heureuse Anglais, an award set up by two French magazines in 1912. The details, including a list of other winners, are in the book Famous Literary Prizes and their Winners, which you can download here.

The dangerous ages are represented by five women from four generations of a well-off, middle-class, privileged family. There is no one dangerous age: Macaulay's characters experience dangers and uncertainites at many stages of their lives. The post-war years have their own dangers, with the aftermath of WWI, a new independence for women and an demanding working class.

I enjoyed Dangerous Ages, but didn't care too much for the characters. If you're interested in Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond is a much better book. ( )
  pamelad | Mar 16, 2009 |
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"Nan is a young novelist who has a large family. Her grandmother lives with her widowed mother (a woman who doesn't know what to do with herself now that her children are grown). Her sister, Neville, is similarly in the same predicament (her children having grown and are attending University), except that her husband is too busy pursuing his career to pay any attention to her. She returns to college to spend her copious spare time, only to discover that her brain was not as brilliant as it was in her earlier years. So Nan, having to deal with all her family members, decides that she is ready for commitment. The only problem is, she's waited too long! Her boyfriend has fallen in love with Neville's daughter, her own niece. And now she must put her life back together in the midst of all the chaos that surrounds her" -- back cover.… (more)

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