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.

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  1. Dorte H says:

    How disappointing that the writer could not make that one interesting. It really sounds as if it would be a piece of cake :)

  2. Sandy says:

    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!

  3. Violet says:

    I have a problem with over-explanation too. I found that a lot in Rescue by Nicholas Sparks, it just puts me off.

  4. Simon S says:

    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!

  5. Jackie says:

    Simon – I think we can safely say we don’t share the same taste in books!

  6. lynda f says:

    just read this book for my book club and i loved it .the best book we have had for ages

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