A Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell (1935)

Dorothy is a spinster, living at the home of her father, the rector of the church. She takes care of the house and the parish, doing her father’s work as he’s getting more and more mentally ill. She punishes herself if she is not able to do the work she set out to do that day. She is also determined to never marry and have devoted herself to God. One day she loses her memory and do not know who she is. She follows a group of kids living on the streets to Kent where they go hop-picking. There she suddenly remembers who she is and because of the scandal that her sudden disappearance from her village caused, she cannot go back. Instead she goes to London to find work but ends up living on the streets.

It took me a while to get into it as I found the descriptions of village life tremendously boring, I actually left the novel alone for six months before I picked it up again. It gets a lot more interesting once Dorothy loses her memory. What I liked the most was this excellent sentence:

Women who do not marry wither up – they wither up like aspidistras in back-parlour windows; and the devilish thing is that they don’t even know they’re withering.

(I accidentally deleted this entry while editing the blog so this is re-type and not as good as the original post.)

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