Any avid readers of my reviews (ha!) will be aware that I haven’t posted for some time. In fact I have felt like I’ve had reading burn out a little after slogging through several long books recently, some of which I haven’t really enjoyed. I started this one, Sons and Lovers, because DH Lawrence is another gap in my reading I wanted to fill. However, after a promising start I quickly started to find it tedious and the thought of picking it up just depressed me. Still, I was determined to finish it as I hate leaving a book unread but it’s just taken me far too long.
There is not a lot of plot to speak of. It focuses mainly on the mother and one of the sons of the Morel family. The father, a Nottinghamshire miner, drinks and occasionally hits his wife. She pours all her love and attention onto two of her sons, William and Paul (you don’t hear much about the daughter, Annie, and the youngest son, Arthur). Both of them ‘better themselves’ by getting an education and a non-manual job and try to smoke their way in the world. The book is mainly about Paul and his relationships with his mother, Miriam, a local farmer’s daughter, and Clara, an older married but separated woman.
I found all the relationships really odd and I just couldn’t relate to any of the characters. There is a lot of dialogue which is sometimes boring to read and the Nottingham dialect of the father is quite hard to follow. I just kept wanting something dramatic to happen, but even the book’s major incidents are quite uneventful. A big disappointment- perhaps I should have started with Lady Chatterley’s Lover!