Review 1757: To Bed with Grand Music

To Bed with Grand Music opens with Deborah Robertson in bed with her husband Graham swearing perfect fidelity before his deployment to Cairo during World War II. Graham more honestly doesn’t promise that but says he won’t sleep with anyone that matters. At first, Deborah contents herself at home, but when, in her boredom, she begins snapping at her little son, Timmy, her mother suggests she get a job.

Her mother is thinking about a job nearby in Winchester, but Deborah makes arrangements to visit a friend in London, Madeleine, and see about a job there. Intending to go home on the evening train, she ends up getting drunk and spending the night with a man.

Shocked at herself, Deborah is determined to stay home, but she has a talent for convincing herself that what she wants to do is right, so it’s not too long before she turns down a job in Winchester only to take a lower-paying one in London. From there, she begins a career of connecting with men of increasingly higher rank.

Deborah is definitely an antihero. She starts out selfish and nervous and becomes deceitful, amoral, and avaricious as she goes on. Her faint motherly instincts become almost nonexistent. This is an insightful, sardonic character study of a particular type of woman.

The Victorian Chaise-Longue

A Fugue in Time

Vanity Fair

7 thoughts on “Review 1757: To Bed with Grand Music

  1. Jane November 22, 2021 / 11:03 am

    crikey, this sounds interesting – a bit different to the usual Persephone heroine!

    • Jane November 23, 2021 / 10:57 am

      ooh sorry, I didn’t notice that it’s Marghanita Laski, I’ve read Little Boy Lost and The Victorian Chaise-Longue and enjoyed them very much. It’s still Crikey, but more understandable coming from this writer!

      • whatmeread November 23, 2021 / 11:13 am

        Yes, her books are unusual.

  2. Helen November 23, 2021 / 5:57 am

    I enjoyed the other two Marghanita Laski books I read (The Victorian Chaise-Longue and Little Boy Lost). This sounds like another interesting one!

    • whatmeread November 23, 2021 / 10:13 am

      It is. I haven’t read Little Boy Lost yet.

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