The Long View by Elizabeth Jane Howard

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This is the sort of story that makes marriage (for a woman) seem like something to be avoided. The marriage between Antonia and Conrad is followed between different periods, and it is a cold, loveless one. Conrad is unlikable, distasteful- and easily one could ask is this what was expected back then, for men to ‘father’ their wives and have high expectations while being absent emotionally and often physically? Is this the recipe for the ‘upper classes’ in the 50’s and before, all control and lack of intimacy?
Antonia takes it, sure- I don’t imagine options were wide for a woman in those days. When someone is able to manipulate, there are many reasons why the bullied accept it. The reason I didn’t love it was it brought me down and I didn’t like the men at all. I am not a man hater, but this book will test you.
Self-centered men, everyone at their worst. There are amazing human interactions, but at times I got lost in the writing. I wanted more fire in Antonia, and had a hard time relating to her. If I didn’t feel down about love before….
But I understand the story, this isn’t a book about beautiful love. This is more about loving wrongly, and why did Antonia stay with this man anyway? Conrad is a destructive person, unloving, cold, mean- just a wrecking ball of a human being. A story about damaged people. Read it, but know it isn’t going to be fireworks of happy love, it is harsh on the heart. Intelligently written, character driven.

Open Road Integrated Media

Publication date: June 7 2016

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