Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Last Friends

by Jane Gardam

The third novel in the Old Filth trilogy is, of course, about Terry Veneering, the third player in the Old Filth love triangle. Oh, how I wanted to love this novel!

Terry’s story starts out almost as tragically as Old Filth’s: his impoverished family, his near miss with a sinking ship, etc. Unfortunately, the plot of this novel never hits its stride. I never got enough of a back story on Terry, which would have been fascinating.

After all, he suffers much like Old Filth. That is to say, people think that he leads a charmed life, but, in fact, it is the opposite. Even his marriage to the elegant Elsie is a dud. Still, we do find out how he comes to choose a career in the law, which is one of his many connections to Old Filth.

In summary, this is the weakest of the trilogy’s novels. I do, however, enjoy a sense of completion, and I like knowing that Veneering’s bad behavior comes from a place of great pain, not just a desire to inflict pain.

I will definitely pick up more of Ms. Gardam’s novels.


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