After enjoying In Pursuit of Love, I decided to pick up the "sequel," Love in a Cold Climate. The second out of three, Mitford created yet another enjoyable and humorous read with Fanny as our narrator. While some characters from In Pursuit make a reappearance, the focus is more on a new family, giving the reader the sense that they are being let in on some lovely gossip.
The time line is similar from In Pursuit, in that you follow the progression of the story from when Fanny was a child to her adulthood. I love Fanny's commentary as a child; it gives the narration an honesty that only a child can get away with. I think this comes across best in a scene where Fanny is trying to find out how a certain neighbor used to be in her youth, only getting the response that she looks just the same as she does now, promtping her to say to herself:
It's no good, I thought, you always come up against this blank wall with old people, they always say about each other that they have never looked any different, and how it be true? Anyway, if it is true, they must have been a horrid generation, all withered or blowsy, and grey at the age of eighteen, knobbly hands, bags under the chin, eyes set in a little map of wrinkles... (Mitford, 73)
I have to admit that while I found the entire book entertaining, I enjoyed reading the first part more than the second. Again, I think this is due to the naivety and humor that the narrator is given as a child. I especially like the observations Fanny has of just everyday simple things, such as taking a ride in a warm car after a rainy-day wedding:
The chauffeur spread a great bearskin under our silver kid shoes. It was not really cold, but shivery, pouring and pouring with rain as it had been all day, getting dark by now. The inside of the motor was like a dry little box, and as we splashed down the long wet shiny roads, with the rain beating against the windows, there was a specially delicious cosiness about being in this little box and knowing that so much light and warmth and solid comfort lay ahead. (Mitford, 79)
I'm looking forward to reading the third installment in this loose series, Don't Tell Alfred. Unfortunately, the copy help by my library is in such poor condition that it is unreadable. Either way, my reading list is full of other items that I need to read before that, so it will be a few more months before I finish off Fanny's stories. I will report back on my thoughts when I do have time to read it though!