This was a book I started reading because I felt like I "should" read it, but after the first few chapters I continued reading because I loved it.
I was fascinated by the two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun, and their emotional struggles as they navigated the fraught world of female emancipation of the early 20th century.
The first line of conversation in the book is: "Ursula," said Gudrun, "don't you really want to get married?"
That sets up the whole narrative. As the story progresses the sisters decide what love means to them, and they both come to different conclusions.
It wasn't an easy read, but it was richly rewarding.
Favourite quotes"Ursula often wondered what else she waited for, besides the beginning and end of the school week, and the beginning and end of the holidays. This was a whole life! Sometimes she had periods of tight horror, when it seemed to her that her life would pass away and be gone, without having been more than this. But she never really accepted it. Her spirit was active, her life like a shoot that is growing steadily, but which has not yet come above ground."
"Birkin and Gerald were the last to come down to breakfast. Hermione liked everybody to be early. She suffered when she felt her day was being diminished, she felt she had missed her life. She seemed to grip the hours by the throat, to force her life from them."
Inchoate: just begun and so not fully formed or developed; rudimentary.
Many characters are described as having "inchoate eyes," and to be honest, I have no idea what D H Lawrence meant by that! Any ideas?
Meretricious: apparently attractive but having no real value
Persiflage: light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter.
"Now go away then, and leave me alone. I don't want any of your meretricious persiflage."
(You can use this phrase whenever you want to really insult someone....)