Love’s Shadow by Ada Leverson

I’d had my eye on the Bloomsbury Group series since they were released in England and I saw them mentioned on various blogs.

Now that some are available here in the States I’ve been scooping them up as I see them.

So when Library Thing offered a copy for Early Reviewers I was super excited, and even more excited to have been offered a copy to read and comment on.

According to Bloomsbury’s website

“This series celebrates lost classics written by both men and women from the early twentieth century, books recommended by readers, for readers. Literary bloggers, authors, friends, and colleagues have shared their suggestions of cherished books worthy of revival.”

Thus far the series include:

  • Miss Hargreaves
  • A Kid For Two Farthings
  • Love’s Shadow
  • The Brontes Went To Woolworths
  • Mrs. Tim of The Regiment
  • Henrietta’s War
  • Love’s Shadow was originally published in 1908. It tells the story of Edith and Bruce Ottley who live in England. Edith has become bored and we quickly see that her husband is a large part of the problem. He is a real handful-a hypochondriac, a non-stop talker, a chauvinist (though he thinks he’s not as bad as other men), and is generally oblivious to others. Edith is opposite in that she is calm, reflecting and lets off these quick and witty remarks that just fly right over Bruce’s head. Then there is Hyacinth Verney who is in love with Cecil Reeve. Cecil is, however, taken with a much older lady who wants nothing to do with him. There are other characters peppered in including Anne, Hyacinth’s lady companion and the strange social misfit Mr. Raggett. The novel revolves around how they all deal with their predicaments.

    Really the book is a comedy about the intricacies and sometimes absurdities of courtship and married life presented through very distinct personalities that drive the story. It took a few chapters to get into the groove as each chapter is about a different person and their experiences. It became like watching a sitcom in which the scene flips between the cast of characters.

    I knew nothing about Ada Leverson nor her work before receiving this book but learned a great deal from the introduction. Love’s Shadow is the first in The Little Ottleys Series. I was lucky enough this weekend to stumble upon a Virago edition of The Little Ottleys which includes all 3 stories. Now I will be able to learn what happens to this couple and their acquaintances.


    I can’t wait to see what else will be published in the Bloomsbury group, until then I’ll happily make my way through Miss Hargreaves and The Brontes Went to Woolworths, both of which I’ve heard great things about in the blogosphere.

    I received this book for review via the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.
    LibraryThing Early Reviewers

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    4 responses to “Love’s Shadow by Ada Leverson

    • Simon T

      I loved this novel, I thought it was so funny – and bought The Little Ottleys, but still haven’t read it.

      I hope you enjoy the others, especially the wonderful Miss Hargreaves!

      • LeaningSun

        Hi Simon! Thanks for popping in. This one kept me smiling, hopefully we both get to read The Little Ottleys soon. And the others do look wonderful.

    • Aarti

      I haven’t heard bad things about any of the novels published in this group! I have Miss Hargreaves on my shelf to read and almost purchased Henrietta’s War yesterday, but didn’t. I like the covers, too!

    • Mae

      Like you, I saw the other bloggers raving about Bloomsbury Group so I was eager to get my hands on some. I’ve recently read The Brontes went to Woolworths and was very impressed. I love how there’s a resurgence in revisiting old writing.

      Also, what a great find of another Ada Leverson.

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