Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden

Emily Eden is a delightful cross between Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde, and by Oscar Wilde, I mean The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband (movie versions), because that's about all I'm familiar with. The Semi-Detached House is the second of her two novels that I've read. (The first was The Semi-Attached Couple, and no, I can't explain the over-use of "semi" and words about attachment or lack thereof.) The book that I have is a paperback containing both of the novels, and I have no idea where I got it. Did my Uncle Steve send it to me? Did I pick it up at a used bookstore somewhere? I have no idea. But I'm so glad to have it and that I finally got around to reading both of the books.

The Semi-Detached House is about a young and recently married aristocrat who must move out to the country and into a dreaded "semi-detached" house. But I guess she's not the main character. There really isn't a main character; it's more of a multiple-character novel like Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, but with more plot. It is funny and a fairly quick read. I'd like to know if English majors are introduced to Emily Eden in their course-work. I had never heard of her, and it seems a shame.

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