Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Victorian Chaise-Longue

The Victorian Chaise-Longue, by Marghanita Laski

This short novel sounded so interesting when someone else read it, and I finally ILLed it so I could read it too.  It is short; about 100 pages long or so and I suppose really a novella.

It's 1952, and Melanie is a pretty, rather fluffy young wife and mother under treatment for tuberculosis.  She spent nearly all of her pregnancy confined to bed, and now she is finally allowed downstairs, to lie on the large Victorian chaise-longue that was her last purchase before her diagnosis.  She happily falls asleep...and wakes up in 1864, in the body of another person.

It's an unusual and frightening story.  It reads like a domestic novel, not a time-travel fantasy or science fiction, but it's really scary as well.  It's very good.  I'm glad Persephone reprinted it so that I could get to hear of it.

4 comments:

figandthistle.com said...

I read this book last year and it was really frightened me! It reminded me a bit of The Yellow Wallpaper.

Jean said...

That's a good comparison!

opinionsofawolf said...

This reminds me of a middle grade book I read earlier this year -- Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer. Only instead of an adult falling asleep on a chaise lounge and time traveling into another body, it's a little girl at boarding school falling asleep in a particular bed and waking up in the past at the same boarding school as a different little girl.

Jean said...

Yes! Charlotte Sometimes is a great book. It must be too long since I read it, because I didn't think of that. :)