Wednesday, May 08, 2013
The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett: Review
The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett is the story of an older couple, the Ransomes, who come home from the opera to find their house has been burgled. Of everything. Even the toilet paper. So they have nothing and have to start over. One of them decides that this is a good time to make a few changes, but the other just stays the same.
I found the book rather depressing. I wasn’t expecting that. I had read The Uncommon Reader by Bennett and thought it was a cute little story. Like Uncommon, The Clothes seems like a parable, but what the lesson is, I’m not sure. Mrs Ransome makes positive changes in her life. She steps outside her comfort zone. They’re not huge steps, but considering her narrow little world, they’re big to her. Mr Ransome doesn’t change at all and Mrs Ransome won’t even share her experiences with him because she knows he’d be horrified. This marriage made me sad. I wanted better for them both.
The writing is neat and tidy, very once upon a time, in keeping with The Uncommon Reader.