I read Diary of a Provincial Lady and I didn’t love it.
The Diary of a Provincial Lady chronicles the unnamed Lady’s little day-to-day victories and struggles over the course of one year, with her servants, her children, her rather ungracious husband, her social-climbing neighbors, and her garden. Whether she’s dressing for a party, going to France, or having measles, her diary hears about it all in characteristic fashion.
I didn’t hate it! It was okay! There were several passages at which I chuckled aloud. But I just couldn’t really warm up to it much. I saw her as an interwar pre-Internet family-life blogger, of a sort, and while some of what she had to say was funny, or satirical, or even occasionally insightful, a lot more of it was repetitive (Mem. and Query at the end of nearly every paragraph, good Lord) and slightly whiny. How many times do you need to deal with overdraft before you stop buying yourself ball gowns? If you’ve solved your “servant problem” but it happens to be with the wrong gender, why wouldn’t you fall all over yourself trying to keep it solved?
I suppose the Lady didn’t seem keenly intelligent or outside her own box, to me, which is what I’d have liked. She was moderately observant of actual conditions, and moderately funny about them. Yes, I understand she was deadpan. Yes, I understand she was reflecting her times. I just found it a bit… dull. So I didn’t love it. I’m sorry!