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.