To my very great surprise this is a fail. I’m hoping only a temporary one.
I’d like to think I will finish it one day and that my decision to put it down half way through (she’s not even Duchess yet…) has been hastened by the book I have waiting next in line.
(It’s a cracker, just too tempting, sitting there by the bed, and I’m desperate to get stuck into it.)
It’s not that Wait For Me! is boring – it’s just that so far I have known all the best bits, described so hilariously by Debo’s big sister Nancy Mitford in her novels The Pursuit of Love and Love In a Cold Climate.
And the less good bits – the family’s close pre-war friendship with Hitler – has always been offputting in the extreme. Although I must say that Debo is wonderfully frank and level-headed about all that.
There are some new gems to savour, such as her father – Farve, better known as Uncle Matthew in Nancy’s books – calling his last cup of cold coffee, which he liked to take off to his study, ‘my suckments’.
One morning a new maid cleared them away before he’d had a chance to take them out of the dining room. ‘Some monkey’s orphan has stolen my suckments!’ he roared.
From that day on he kept the cup in his safe until the moment of perfect drinking.
Also, to be fair to Debo, she has always maintained that she is the quiet Mitford, preferring wild flowers and poultry to the extreme politics and sparkling society (meaning mostly gay society, in Nancy’s case) that her sisters were so drawn to.
I will finish it. My devotion to Nancy Mitford borders on a cult. I have several shrines to her in my home and office and the least I can do is finish her baby sister’s memoir.
And considering I drove an hour and a half from my mother’s house to Chatsworth especially to get hold of a signed copy, it would be crazy not to.
Just not at the moment.
Debo, aged 20, in 1940. So beautiful and doing what she likes best.
Reading satisfaction: 5
Recommend to best girlfriend: 8
Recommend to mother: 10
Recommend to niece: 8
Recommend to gay best friend: 6
Recommend to man pal: 7
Recommend to Helen Razer: 0
Read on public transport: 7