A memoir of her marriage. In several ways I’m enjoying it, but the first section is awkward. It is too anecdotal; the contrast with the immediacy and feeling of the second section is stark. She’s too removed from the events of the first section and she’s telling it like a grandmother to her grandchildren.

What’s more, she has this habit of defanging whatever she says, reducing it to nothing, explaining it away, leaving me saying ‘why’d you mention it in the first place?’. Eg:

Sometimes on my way home after a show I would be accosted by a drunken solider or sailor, but I would just smile and move out of the way and I never had any real problem. If someone started to be ugly, there was aways somebody else to say, “Is he bothering you?” (p. 36)

Dreadful writing. I believe in you, Madeleine, I believe you’re going to wipe away the bad memory of this sentence and ones like it.