Before I tell you about my Virago book, I wanted to say many thanks to Carolyn and Rachel for hosting Virago Reading Week. I was in such a rush to tell you about my potential books in my Virago post that I totally forgot to give credit to our hosts for the event. I also want to say thank you to Danielle for pointing me to the readalong!
So, I decided to pick up Cullum by E. Arnot Robertson. I was torn between this one and another and I hate to admit that one of the factors in choosing this book was that it was a bit on the shorter side but I’ve got to finish a couple of other books that are due this week for book groups, but regardless of the size of the book I think I’ll be in for a wonderful time.
E. Arnot Robertson was born Eileen Arbuthnot in Surrey in 1903. Cullum was her first novel and she went on to write seven more. Cullum, published in 1928, is about a first love affair and the intensity it carries.
I’m only on page 50 but already the main character Esther Sieveking, a nineteen year-old aspiring author, has met a charming author. In Cullum she feels like she’s finally found someone who she can confide in and who will understand her. That in itself can create a powerful attraction right? But, Cullum seems a bit carefree, a bit of a romancer and so I’m sure there will be a lot of emotional turmoil for Esther. I don’t think she’s naive because she does make some interesting observations about Cullum but I think he’s just a bit more experienced.
Here’s a part I liked. Esther is at a dinner where Cullum is attending:
“I was content to play the listener whenever I could. People generally listed to young Cullum Hayes, whether he had anything particular to say or not, because he had a pleasant voice and a delightful way of talking, and he evidentily enjoyed his own nonsense so much that other people did too. He laughed, with a quick, backward jerk of the head, at some observation he made to the girl by his side; she frowned in a puzzled way, not understanding his play on a word, and being very much a woman, smiled at him and not at what he had said, but at twenty-two he could not be expected to notice the difference. He would be an exceptional man if he ever noticed the difference.”
I don’t know if I’ll finish the book during the week but I’ll come back with a full review.