Monday, March 25, 2024


Ex-WifeEx-Wife by Ursula Parrott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ex-Wife by Ursula Parrott, published anonymously in 1929, was as good as promised when I heard about it on Backlisted's Patreon podcast and they recommended it as the feminine counterpart to Gatsby in describing the Jazz Age and what happens to young women who are caught between Victorian morality and the sexual revolution of the twenties. I responded with a raised glass to the blurb's description of the narrator as "wedged between Edith Wharton's constrained society girls and the squandered glamour of Jean Rhys's doomed wanderers."
The first person narrator, Pat, announces to her newest man, Noel:
"Don't have any illusions about me. I have slept with more men than I can remember." That was exaggeration, but I had to exaggerate, lest I should understate.
And he responds..."Whatever happened to you has made you poised and tolerant, and comprehending, and anyone who knows you should be grateful for whatever produced the result." But, in the all too familiar refrain, he's taken, and Pat continues the high life in search of a stable closure. And Ursula Parrott sold 100,000 copies of the novel.

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