2008 Memoirs Richard and Judy Book Club

The Bolter – Frances Osbourne

The Bolter is a non-fiction biography of Idina Sackville, a woman who scandalised 1920s society by marrying five times and having numerous love affairs.

Idina had a really interesting life, but this book fails to capture the essence of the woman. The writing is quite dry, and at times very boring. I think this book would have benefited from being written as a piece of historical fiction, so that some life could be breathed into each of the characters. I would have loved to have had a greater insight into the thoughts and feelings of Idina, instead of a list of two-dimensional people she met.

The reader also wasn’t credited with much intelligence, and I found myself being irritated by over-explanation of many things. I think the worst offender was this:

“He hadn’t seen him for five months, almost half a year.”

Overall, I was very disappointed by this book. The back cover makes it sound so interesting, but ultimately it failed to live up to my expectations.

6 replies on “The Bolter – Frances Osbourne”

It definitely has a good concept, although she would fit right into today’s lifestyle! You have had some back luck, the last couple of books. I will hope for a quick turn of fortune in finding a compelling read!

I just finished this yesterday and I absolutely loved it, I think it might be because of the era and also the fact I knew nothing of her or the Happy Valley first… and the fact I love all things Mitford!

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