[[ PDF ]] ⇬ The Constant Nymph ☛ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free
Albert Sanger was a brilliant composer, English by blood, European by choice a man of loose morals and unpredictable temperament Following in his wake and footsteps is a managerie of children, both legitimate and not This story focuses on primarily two of these children, Antonia and Tessa, Tessa being the Constant Nymph of the title and a young composer named Lewis Dodd whose intimate ties with the family will have far reaching effectsSo this was pretty fascinating In some ways I couldn t help but think of the old movie Seven Brides For Seven Brothers when the bride arrives home only to find instead of a haven, bedlam and destruction with seven men her new relatives living like animals This was kind of like that Sanger s children have had no training other than an intense life course in music They enjoy life or at least accept life as they find it, but know nothing of traditional education, social graces, culture etc They live wild and free That is, until that momentous day when Albert Sanger dies suddenly without a penny and an aunt from England arrives to rescue the unfortunate childrenAt times, this is a very amusing story and yet its not a funny book It has an almost tragic Tess of the D Urbervilles feel to it We want happiness for the characters and yet shudder to think what that may mean..FYI There is a sequel to this called The Fool of The Family , which focuses on Caryl, the oldest son, a violinist.CONTENT SEX Talk of mistresses and loose living Nothing intimate shown to reader.VIOLENCE NonePROFANITY Mild D s, B s MY RATING PG
[[ PDF ]] ⇰ The Constant Nymph ↡ Tessa is the daughter of a brilliant bohemian composer, Albert Sanger, who with his circus of precocious children, slovenly mistress, and assortment of hangers on, lives in a rambling chalet high in the Austrian Alps The fourteen year old Tessa has fallen in love with Lewis Dodd, a gifted composer like her father Confidently, she awaits maturity, for even his marriage to Tessa s beautiful cousin Florence cannot shatter the loving bond between Lewis and his constant nymph. This was Kennedy s second novel, and easily her most famous, a bestseller also made into a very successful play and movie The title character is Teresa Tessa Sanger, daughter of bohemian musician and composer Albert Sanger, whose large family lives in the Austrian Alps They have frequent visitors to their small chalet, including gifted composer Lewis Dodd, with whom Tessa falls in love since she s only fourteen, though, she has to wait until she s older Unfortunately, in the meantime, Lewis marries Tessa s beautiful, assured cousin Florence, who has come to help the family when Tessa s father dies I think I d have enjoyed the book if I hadn t disliked Lewis so I think his brilliance is supposed to be sympathetic, but I just felt sorry for everyone he came in contact with I did like Sanger s vivid family and their eccentric lifestyle, and particularly Tessa, who s very engaging and not too consciously na ve the settings are equally vivid, and the plot whirls along nicely On the whole, though, I enjoyed Kennedy s Troy Chimneys. There s no use crying about it No use, agreed Teresa.But the tears poured down her face, whether she would or no, until she conceived the happy idea of trying to water a primula with them Immediately the flood was dried, after the manner of tears when a practical use has been found for them And it would have been interesting, said Paulina sorrowfully, to see if it would have made any difference to the primula Margaret Kennedy examines interpersonal dynamics with a keen eye and an acerbic wit I was fascinated by her cast of wild and ethereal artists Trouble is, there were entirely too many of them Often, they all sort of blurred together for me And, Kennedy s voice, though not unsympathetic to her characters, is so wry and detached as to keep them at something of a distance I wanted to get a little closer to this constant nymph Teresa But, as with her mythological counterpart, one is only given brief glimpses Decidedly she was the least attractive of them in feature and person she might almost have been called ugly, though improvement was possible if, on a richer diet, she should take it into her head to grow The meagreness of her under nourished body contrasted ill with a certain amplitude of scale in her face, which was round and firm, with a finely curved chin and large, wide set eyes Her mouth was small, and, though the fullness of her lips gave it generosity, there was a sardonic turn about it that Florence did not like to see in so young a girl.Poor Tessa Born a century too soon.. The Constant Nymph was wildly successful in the 1920s A bestselling novel A popular play A Hollywood film And yet it disappeared Fell out of print, until Virago picked it up and made it a Modern Classic number 121 There was an intriguing love triangle at the centre of the story, set against a colourful backdrop.Lewis Dodd was a young composer, hugely promising and already enjoying a degree of success He came from a conventional English family but he was drawn to a freer, bohemian way of life And he was particularly drawn to Sanger s Circus Albert Sanger was a musical genius, a feted composer, but a difficult man He expected attention, expected the world to revolve around him, and he had the charm, and of course the success, to make it so.He lived high in the Alps with the six children of his two marriages, an idle mistress and her baby, and a stream of visitors to pay court to the great man.The two children of his first marriage were virtually grown up Caryl was a gifted musician who was beginning to follow in his father s footsteps, and Kate was a capable young woman who brought order to the chaotic household and had musical and theatrical talents too Their futures were assured.The children of his second marriage were just a little younger, but much less grown up They were children still, bright, free spirited, open, honest, and completely unfettered by convention.Toni knew that she was destined to be an adored wife, or failing that a courtesan.And Tessa was the constant nymph of the title She hads loved Lewis for as long as she could remember and was waiting to grow up and into an adult love with him And though nothing was said he knew that too, understood that it ws right, and what should and would be.Tessa was young and yet that didn t seem wrong, because she had seen and heard so much of life in her father s household, and because both she and Lewis tacitly recognised that their love was something still to come something in the future.And then there was Pauline, younger, forthright, and still very much a child And Paul, younger again but wiser, secure in the knowledge that he would be a musician one day and that he would work towards that.A wonderful cast, a wonderful setting, and there could have been a simple, classical romance set against that colourful background.But Margaret Kennedy did something different and took her story on a much interesting direction.And at this point I should say that she told her story beautifully I appreciated her clear understanding of character, her mix of intelligence and empathy, her lovely way with metaphors, and her ability to move her plot at a steady pace.Albert Sanger died Suddenly, unexpectedly, and leaving not a penny.Caryl, Kate and Toni find their own paths, leaving Tessa, Pauline and Paul to be rescued by their mother s family Because, of course, a conventional English family will do the right thing for their young relations.Florence Churchill, a bright, educated, modern young woman was despatched to sort things out She was charmed by her young relations, but she was shocked by their bohemian lifestyle And it was quickly decided that the children must be sent to school to prepare them for the future.And Florence fell in love with Lewis, and he with her They marry, but their marriage is not a success Each had been drawn to an idea of the other but neither had really understood the other s way of life, what that meant, what compromises might have to be met.The viewpoint shifted between them and I found that I could understand both, though I found both infuriating and wished that I could make them see the reality of their situation.But their lack of sight, lack of understanding, set off Tessa s clarity perfectly.And though Tessa remained in the background, the perspective moving between Lewis and Florence, I found that I understood her perfectly.She was desperately unhappy She hated school, she missed her home, she didn t know where she was going Though still believed that she and Lewis were meant for each other.When Tessa s younger siblings persuaded her to run away from school that cat really was put among the pigeons Florence said they must go back, but Lewis said no It was easy to find alternatives for Paulina and Paul, but not for Tessa She had one ambition but she knew she could not say what it was.And so the stage was set, for a most unexpected ending.It left me not knowing what to say.Except that I liked the book, I can understand its success, but I was sorry that I didn t see a little of Tessa s siblings in the second half of the story.Good though it was I can t help thinking that there was a bigger, richer story that might have come out of Sanger s Circus. A novel about a circle of bohemian adults and children in the months following the death of their father and mentor, a brilliant but little known English composer 1924.Full review and other recommendations at Another look bookA gem of a book, truly Not my favorite Margaret Kennedy The Feast and Lucy Carmichael still hold that honor, as well as the infinitely prestigious awards of 1 and 2 Bree s Best Books of All Time But The Constant Nymph is still some really solid literature Kennedy s writing is as brilliant and poignant as ever It features a pretty large cast, which also seems to be a Kennedy feature I personally love the constant nymph title character, Teresa Tessa, but the good news is that if her story doesn t speak the strongest to you, there are several other characters to choose from I especially recommend this if you like stories about precocious young people and are interested in the art music scene of 1920s Europe. A complex tale somewhat flawed by its at times chaotic mix of too many characters, with some of their fates trailing off into oblivion The crux of the story lies within a few of the extended bohemian family, and drew me in as it went to its surprising conclusion I loved the musical angle, which is very much of its time, and can forgive the non pc nature of the story for the same reason I plan to explore several of Margaret Kennedy s novels. From what I ve gathered from the back of book summary, this may have been the 1920s equivalent of 50 Shades It was the top selling book of the decade in England overall who knows , has some scandalous affairs, and displays the relationship character depth of a wading pool Now y all know me I love my cross generational shit, but I can t stand romance novels This was way romance novel than cross generational shit and because the characters were all so flat and vapid, except maybe Florence who was profoundly unlikeable, it was like cotton candy for the brain Worse, actually, because I always start these things excited to see where the cross gen goes there s so much depth and play you can pull out of stories like this, h o n e s t l y but am inevitably disappointed In this case, it was because Lewis Tess had zero chemistry I ve never read Kennedy before, but I won t again the writing was engaging enough, to the point where I really enjoyed the story and general vibe thus 3 stars , but it was also, paradoxically, seriously blah Characters lacked motivation everything was told instead of shown increasingly becoming a personal pet peeve All the characters shouted about Lewis and Tess being madly in love, but it just never came through in their interactions Yeah, Tess cried about Lewis a lot, and Lewis became suddenly and weirdly obsessed with Tess, but there was no build and less payoff Meh.I did appreciate the end no spoilers, but it builds to an inevitably doomed conclusion, and you can t help but feel somewhat satisfied But overall it s fun, I enjoyed reading it, but paaaaaass I haven t won t read 50 Shades, but from my intoxicated viewing of the first movieI bet Margaret Kennedy and E L James would have a lot to not discuss. See my full review at The Emerald City Book Review I found this novel a fascinating window into a time when the world had been shaken by one war but was not yet foreseeing the next, when social and artistic certainties were being questioned in all sorts of ways The main characters belong to a Bohemian artistic circle centered around an expatriate English composer living in the Alps, and the first part of the book introduces us to his extremely unconventional menage, including a brood of children by various wives and mistresses The nymph of the title is one of these, Teresa known as Tessa , a waif type who suffers from a silent passion for another, younger composer, Lewis Dodd, who loves her as well but doesn t yet realize she is his perfect mate she s only fourteen.When her father dies, Tessa s comfortably unkempt and eccentric world is invaded by the forces of conventionality and good breeding in the form of her cousin Florence, who comes to rescue the children and take them away to be properly educated When she takes Lewis as well, though, the trouble begins Back in England, the children can t be forced into the mold of proper society, and Lewis starts to feel the prison bars closing in too A startling denouement left me with the feeling that Kennedy didn t quite know how to finish off the situation she had gotten her characters into I could have wished for a complex conclusion to a work that started off in such a promising way.Just before things unraveled so unsatisfyingly, there were interesting intimations that the struggle between Tessa and Florence reflected a larger, almost mythic battle Stories have always been woven about how the conflict between the forces of nature and spontaneity, life giving but formless, and the civilizing, domesticating impulse that is meant to tame and channel those forces in a positive way, but which threatens to harden into a deadening mania for control The Constant Nymph shows how the tales of nymphs and enraged goddess wives live on in our own times, as those ancient forces still slumber within us all How do we deal with them in the modern world It s an interesting question, but one that Kennedy didn t quite answer. This should just be called Sanger s Circus Or something like that Not The Constant Nymph.The bohemian , charmingly eccentric family is the heart of the book, the center of the story Known as Sanger s Circus Title right there Of course, this is 90 years later And that great beginning to the book lasts only 80 pages But it is still a very, very good novel Somewhat in the vein of Wharton The end is a bit cheesy The title is terrible I think it s supposed to mean something like The Eternal Virgin The concept of dying before you lost your virginity may have been significant in 1924 Still Hardly seems like the real point of the book Of course, it is 90 years later now 91 And The Constant Nymph was super popular in the 1920s Maybe it came off differently then I ve read this a few times Since I was 21 That early, bohemian, part is just so good They perform an opera known as, Breakfast With the Borgias Can we retitle this So it doesn t just get forgotten and buried in the past It s better than that.