Page 100 - PB Cat 1999-2021
P. 100

 The 1954 jacket for the American edition of Patience
‘When the story opens, Patience is – or thinks she is – a married woman with three children,’ wrote the blurb writer on the original (Gollancz) edition of this 1953 novel. ‘To Patience, who is a Catholic, and who accepts life with a dutiful and unruffled calm, this is a supremely satisfactory state to be in. Even when her brother Lionel, who is a Catholic of an altogether more serious type, informs her that her husband, Edward, is living in a state of Sin with
another woman, the surface of her placid existence is hardly disturbed. Shortly afterwards, however, Patience meets Philip at a party and falls in love, intensely in love, for the first time. And then at last she understands Lionel’s preoccupation with Sin; for sinning with one’s love, Patience discovers is much more pleasant than being dutiful with one’s husband.’
A sophisticated and delightful novel, Patience was John Coates’s greatest success, being turned into a play with Geraldine McEwan in her first leading role. Some will be shocked but most will be disarmed by it. Maureen Lipman’s verdict is ‘totally absorbing, slyly innocent, wickedly funny...delicious.’
‘Leaves’, a 1953 design by Wendy Bray
 NO 99
 272pp PERSEPHONE BOOKS ISBN 9781903155899

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