Monday, 18 October 2010

Mrs Ames by EF Benson

Desperate Housewives - 1912 style
review by Maryom

Mrs Ames is queen of her social circle until a new resident arrives and charms first her son and then her husband. Desperate measures are called for - but, when she turns from changing her appearance to trying to change society, will Mrs Ames' efforts to re-attract her husband actually end up sending him straight into the arms of her rival?
First published in 1912, this is a gentle comedy of small town life, its gossip and power struggles - falling somewhere between Cranford and Desperate Housewives.
An enjoyable, entertaining and timeless tale. The concerns and attitudes of the ladies of Riseborough differ surprisingly little from those of the ladies of Wisteria Lane - Mrs Evans flutters her eyelashes and charms the men with her helpless little woman act, Mrs Ames resorts to hair dye and wrinkle reducing creams in her efforts to fight back and the supporting characters of Mr and Mrs Altham provide a comic chorus to events.
Less acerbic wit and backbiting than in Mapp and Lucia, but still an excellent gentle comedy.

Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Bloomsbury Publishing

Genre - Chick lit, humour

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