Something Light by Margery Sharp (1960)

Something Light by Margery Sharp

From the 1960 Little, Brown edition of  Something Light by Margery Sharp Something Light is the story of Louisa Mary Datchett, who was “very fond of men” — indiscriminately fond of men, in fact.

Men, for their part, seemed to recognize this in her and took advantage of it — and of her — when they needed listening to, when they needed prescriptions filled, employment found, socks washed, suits fetched from the cleaners, or musical instruments got out of hock.

“She was constantly being either send for, like a fire engine, or dispatched, like a life boat, to the scene of some masculine disaster.”


Jaded at thirty

Such was the universal employ of her talents that, fond of men as she was, she found herself in her thirtieth year suddenly feeling jaded.

The result of this unfamiliar feeling was a new and equally unfamiliar impulse to marry, and marry well. In a short but illuminating moment of reflection, Louisa decided that “It’s not the suffragettes who’d be proud  of me, it’s the Salvation Army … it’s time I looked out for myself. In fact, it’s time I looked for a rich husband  …”

What happens in Louisa’s search for a husband is a continuous delight. Although newly prudent and following the maxim, “Che va piano va sicuro” (softly-softly catchee monkey), Louisa is apt to meet anyone  and usually does.

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Something light by Margery Sharp
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Besides her own Bohemian set of the offbeat, the bronchial and the indignant, there are to name a few, F. Pennon with his Rolls-Royce, champagne parties and capability of hiring television time to complain about the weather; Enid Anstruther, an expert on the art of husband-hunting who enjoys  talking shop and, in a moment of womanly chumminess, further confuses Louisa by advising her to “marry the life, not the man;” Jimmy Brown, the steadiest of men, but quite terrified before the embodiment of something he’d rather keep a sentimental memory.

These diverting characters and their wonderfully humorous and human involvements make Something Light one of Margery Sharp’s most thoroughly engaging, generously witty novels. Indeed, the author seems to have had as much fun writing it  as the reader will have discovering it.

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Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp

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