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Wie Wind in den Straßen (1936)

von Rosamond Lehmann

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

Reihen: Olivia - Lehmann (2)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
4991937,925 (3.92)71
Taking up where AN INVITATION TO THE WALTZ left off, THE WEATHER IN THE STREETS shows us Olivia Curtis ten years older, a failed marriage behind her, thinner, sadder, and apprently not much wiser. A chance encounter on a train with a man who enchanted her as a teenager leads to a forbidden love affair and a new world of secret meetings, brief phone calls and snatched liaisons in anonymous hotel rooms. Years ahead of its time when first published, this subtle and powerful novel shocked even the most stalwart Lehmann fans with its searing honesty and passionate portrayal of clandestine love.… (mehr)
  1. 10
    A Pin to See the Peepshow von F. Tennyson Jesse (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Two books written by women and published in the 1930s which are both about women who find themselves trapped by the constraints of the society they live in and end up seeking happiness in ex-marital affairs. Both have been reissued by Virago press.
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strange book. but interesting ( )
  mahallett | Dec 9, 2020 |
The Weather in the Streets is another book I picked up purely because of the cover. I love these new editions of Virago modern classics.

Anyway, the lovely cover made me ignore the blurb. This is not usually a bad thng because I do prefer to read books without knowing much about them. This also helps to avoid spoilers and to me even a plot summary can be a spoiler. Yes, I really do love to know very little about a book when I pick it up.

Interestingly, had I read the description, I would have learned that this is the sequel to another book, which I haven’t read: Invitation to the Waltz.
I didn’t know it was a sequel, but it is likely that I would have been less interested in the first book anyway as it is a coming of age story and those tend to not work for me.

The Weather in the Streets starts with a woman, Olivia, meeting an old acquaintance (Rollo) on a train. There is something very Noel Coward to the story, and I don’t just mean Still Life (Coward’s 1936 one-act play that was the basis of the classic film Brief Encounters). The dialogue and observations are very witty, or rather, sharp.

‘I’m afraid I’m not very grown-up,’ he said suddenly.
‘Nor am I.’
‘I should have said you were.’
‘Oh, no!’ There was a pause; and she added nervously: ‘I’ve noticed people with children don’t generally mind so much … about age, I mean. They seem to feel less anxious about time.’
‘Do they? I suppose they do,’ he said. ‘I expect it’s a good thing to have children.’
‘You haven’t got any?’
‘No,’ he said. ‘Have you?’
‘No.’
They made it a joke, and laughed … All the same, it was surprising he hadn’t produced an heir. Couldn’t, wouldn’t Nicola? … or what?
‘Then,’ she said, ‘there are the pleasures of the intellect. They’re said to be lasting. We must cultivate our intellects.’
‘Too late,’ he said. ‘One ought to make at least a beginning in youth, and I omitted to do so. The fact is, I don’t care much about the intellect. I’m afraid the scope of my pleasures is rather limited.’
‘Really?’
‘Confined in fact entirely to those of the senses.’
‘Oh, I see …’ She answered his odd comically inquiring look with a lift of the eyebrows. ‘Well, I suppose they’re all right. Only they’re apt to pall.’
‘Oh, are they?’
‘I was thinking of cake.’ She sighed. ‘It used to be my passion – especially chocolate, or any kind of large spicy bun. Now, it’s beginning to mean less … much less.’
He leaned back, laughing; the tension dissolved again.

This is not a comedy, tho. There is something tragic about both Olivia and Rollo.

Interestingly, The Weather on the Streets was also published in 1936 (same as Coward’s Still Life), and in a way Lehmann’s story picks up on similar themes. However, Olivia’s and Rollo’s stories take quite different turns.

I loved this book.

One of the reasons why was that this another example of 1930s literature showing us how modern some attitudes in the interwar period were and that there were people who dared to step out of the life that other people want for them and make their own choices, fully knowing the cost at which this decision may come.

Now, it would be delusional to think that the stories depicted by Lehmann were common or even widely accepted. They were not. And I am not coming away from this book with the conviction that there was a regression after the war in attitudes as to what was “socially acceptable” (even tho I do wonder about this).
However, Lehmann’s book does give visibility to characters who struggle with their lot in life and decide to seek more for themselves, while trying to not damage or hurt the people around them.

And Lehmann’s writing is just wonderful.

There is one particular scene where Olivia feels sick on a train. It’s only a single paragraph, and yet it is enough to let us know so, so much about what is going on with both the plot and the character.

This was just so very good. I love the way that Lehmann writes about even serious things and yet still keeps a light tone.

I am very keen to find out whether Lehmann’s other works are equally satisfying. ( )
  BrokenTune | Jul 26, 2020 |
Absolutely exquisite.

Ten years after Invitation to a Waltz, Olivia's life and personality have developed so heart-rendingly realistically. Couple this with Lehmann's beautifully intimate prose, and I am emotionally shredded. Olivia's inner stream of consciousness - her doubts and insecurities - often hits too close to home.

I almost wish this were a trilogy (or some Linklater-ian series where we catch up with Olivia every ten years) but perhaps for my poor heart, this was sequel enough. I'm already looking forward to rereading this in the future. ( )
  kitzyl | Jul 15, 2020 |
In The Weather in the Streets we meet Olivia from Invitation to the Waltz again—she is now a grown-up living with her cousin in London, with artistic friends and a failed marriage. By chance, she meets Rollo Spencer, the unattainable big brother from her first ball all those years ago, and they end up in a relationship as his marriage has also been disappointing. While I struggled to suspend my disbelief about the level of happiness in their relationship, following Olivia's life in the 1930s was interesting, in particular with respect to the unwanted pregnancy. ( )
  mari_reads | Nov 20, 2019 |
Olivia lleva una vida algo bohemia en el Londres de los años treinta: vive con poco dinero porque trabaja en el estudio de una amiga fotógrafa y comparte casa con su prima Etty; es una mujer aún joven e independiente, culta y sensible. Un encuentro fortuito con el hombre del que estaba enamorada cuando era adolescente -noble, distinguido y ahora casado- desemboca en un amor prohibido y una nueva vida de breves llamadas telefónicas, angustiosas esperas y arrebatados encuentros...
  bibliest | Sep 5, 2017 |
keine Rezensionen | Rezension hinzufügen

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (2 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Rosamond LehmannHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Callil, CarmenEinführungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Watts, JanetEinführungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Taking up where AN INVITATION TO THE WALTZ left off, THE WEATHER IN THE STREETS shows us Olivia Curtis ten years older, a failed marriage behind her, thinner, sadder, and apprently not much wiser. A chance encounter on a train with a man who enchanted her as a teenager leads to a forbidden love affair and a new world of secret meetings, brief phone calls and snatched liaisons in anonymous hotel rooms. Years ahead of its time when first published, this subtle and powerful novel shocked even the most stalwart Lehmann fans with its searing honesty and passionate portrayal of clandestine love.

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