Midweek @ Musings: Death, Love, & Marriage in Elizabeth Taylor’s “In a Summer Season”


If you haven’t been following this month’s discussion of Elizabeth Taylor’s eighth novel, In a Summer Season, you’re really missing out!  Karen @ Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings has written two tremendously thought-provoking posts, prompting one LibraryThing member to say, “Karen, your posts are very perceptive and I found myself mentally nodding and exclaiming ‘Yes! That’s absolutely right!’ as I read!”  I couldn’t agree more.  Each week I’ve found her posts ratting around in my head and sparking all kinds of thoughts, and all this for a book I read three years ago!

During Week 1, Karen talked about Death, and a recurring theme in Taylor’s work where a significant death occurs before the start of the story.  Then in Week 2, she discussed Love and Marriage, and how these are portrayed in several of Taylor’s novels, wondering whether Taylor had “a jaded view of the state of matrimony.”  This then led to discussion of physical attraction and sex in Taylor’s work.

Have I piqued your interest?  This week Karen will publish her review of In a Summer Season, and the next week will discuss “Art Imitating Life (or Vice Versa).”  I wonder what that’s about?  You can bet I’ll be watching for these posts.  I hope you will as well, and will feel free to dive into discussion via the comments.

Have you read and reviewed In a Summer Season?  Be sure to share your review via the “Mr. Linky” on my Elizabeth Taylor Centenary page.  There’s also discussion happening on LibraryThing, and on Facebook.

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2 thoughts on “Midweek @ Musings: Death, Love, & Marriage in Elizabeth Taylor’s “In a Summer Season”

  1. It took me some pages to get into this one but I ended up loving it a great deal. With Taylor I frequently find that my favorite characters are not the lead characters but the secondary ones and with In A Summer Season this was no different. I really enjoyed the characters of Lou, Charles, Ethel, Edwina, & Father Blizzard. I even engaged with Tom whom I found to have so many underlying issues to think about as I read of him. But Kate was a bore and Dermot a juvenile idiot with no redeeming qualities. What a letdown he must have been after Kate’s first husband.
    The end of the book did not surprise me in the least as I had been waiting for it since the purchase of the new auto.
    But I love how Ms. Taylor reveals the layers of her characters to us. And she takes her time with the storyline and lets it flow. I am looking forward to the September selection, The Soul of Kindness. I am loving reading one special author throughout the year and already looking forward to next year’s author of choice.

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