“Pleasant little book, but nothing that would concern me deeply”, I wrote in my diary after reading The Pursuit of Love. What I meant was that the book did not speak of morality, death, man’s relationship with God or nature, existential problems and other similar themes of importance… Then I had to remind myself of the obvious – not every piece of literature is supposed to have the seriousness and significance of, for instance, Dostoevsky’s work.
The Pursuit of Love was strong in its own way – it left a warm feeling of affection, a certain kind of charming atmosphere and a wish to read more Mitford’s novels. So, here I was, thirteen months later, reading Love in a Cold Climate, enjoying the narration and intelligence behind it, loving the characters and anxiously waiting for Polly and Cedric to meet when, all of a sudden – the end! The End!?.. “Cannot be,” I protested in silence and read the final paragraph again. And again. Still not convinced I downloaded two other copies but alas!, they offered nothing more than I already had. “Truncated, as the first one,” I thought and desperately turned to my last resort – a plot summary on Wikipedia – seeking comfort and hoping… But there I finally had to accept the bitter fact – the end was really the end.
This has never happened before. I never wanted to read about Elizabeth and Darcy’s married life, for example; and although I was suffering for not hearing Christopher’s voice in the last volume of Parade’s End, I knew it had to be so and I took it as it was. But this time it was different. I wanted the story to continue. I wished to see Polly and Cedric together, talking, interacting… Would they grow fond of each other as everybody thought they would? Would he fall in love with Boy?… The end came so abruptly.
But I understand it now. Now that I regained my peace, that is.. I’ll have to squeeze in Don’t Tell Alfred in the December reading list. There will probably be a word or two about Polly and Cedric in there.