‘The Easter Party’ by Vita Sackville-West

Forgive me for a moment, but I feel as though I should wax lyrical about my beautiful copy of The Easter Party. It is a lovely peach hardcover from 1955, which I spotted quite by chance in a quaint little Cambridge bookshop and clutched to my chest immediately.  I was like a little girl with a birthday cake.  Here was a book by an author whom I treasure, which I didn’t even know until that point was in existence.  That, to me, was wonderful.

As can be expected with a book printed in the mid-1950s, The Easter Party features no blurb, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it.  I wasn’t too worried about this as I’ve very much enjoyed all of Sackville-West’s novels which I’ve read to date, but I must admit that I wasn’t expecting to be disappointed with it.

There is not much by way of plot in The Easter Party.  The novel follows two sisters, Rose and Lucy, and their entirely different marriages.  Rose, the rich one, lives a life in which she dreams of leaving Walter, her indifferent husband in nothing but name.  Lucy, who envies Rose’s home and stature, doesn’t actually realise that her own happy marriage should surely be the envy of her own discontented sister.  Sadly, some of the conversations feel a little too saturated and reveal very few details in the grand scheme of things.  It is as though they have been used merely to fill up empty space.  Throughout, I felt detached from the characters, and thus it was hard to identify with any of them.  Whilst I like the way in which the tale is told, over just one Easter weekend, it is certainly my least favourite Sackville-West.

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