Jump to content

The Sleepless Moon


Recommended Posts

I am about half way through this book having found it at the library a few weeks ago and taken it out on a complete whim. I knew virtually nothing about the author before starting although I do remember TV adaptations of both Love for Lydia and The Darling Buds of May many years ago. The language used is very descriptive and as it is set in a small country town is quite charming to read in places although it is a far from happy book.


The story basically surrounds a very unhappily married couple, their own lives and the lives of those thier marriage touches. Constance, the main character, is a very sensual girl although painfully shy and unsure of herself who really by accident finds herself married to a much older man in Melford Turner. He, thanks to past experiences, is all but frigid with no understanding of his young wife or the workings of her mind. In such circumstances a happy marriage was always unlikely!


I found the book very slow going to start with and even considered giving up at one stage. However, now that I have a little more time to devote to the book and have had a little run at it the book is gathering pace and I am beginning to find myself drawn to the main characters. As the story is progressing other smaller stories are also unfolding thus enabling the book overall to hold my interest. I shall finish the book now but am not sure that I will bother with another by the same writer.

Edited by cherrypie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I finished this book this morning and, as I suspected, it got no happier. It described a great deal of hand wringing by most of the characters and did not seem to contain one happy well adjusted character at all. Although I could sympathise with many of the characters including the main ones and at times became almost interested in their varying stories by the end of the book I felt my attention wandering again. I would hesitate to recommend the book although it does have its good points and I thought was pretty well written. I just felt that it took itself a little too seriously throughout. Not an author I intend reading again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By lunababymoonchild
      This book starts out with a pregnant woman walking very long distances to find her lover.  It's the second book I've read this year that starts out like that. The woman is Bella Ford and her long journey  makes her very ill indeed. To the extent that she loses the baby.  She is taken in by a hard working family who have three sons and one daughter and it takes Bella a very long time to recover. During this time she falls in love with one of the three sons and agrees to marry him.  Just as she thinks that she can't get any happier tragedy strikes. 
      This is a very well written book and the plot is well drawn, the characters are believable and it's not very long. It's a very gentle, easy to read book and very worth while.
    • By cherrypie
      This book is based in Kashmir in 1947.  The partition has caused rioting and massacre and when he Pathans and Afridi of Northern India meet a small Catholic mission finds itself in the middle of the fighting.  For ten days the inhabitants have to cope with being attacked and then occupied.  Once occupied the mission finds itself under constant fire.   
      Once again this book is very character driven.  H E Bates had a very understated way of writing and although there are descriptions of some terrible happenings they are told in an almost matter of fact way.  The description on the back of the book suggests that he writes without melodrama.  I would suggest that it is slightly more than that.  It is as if he wished to slip the descriptions of the happenings and the human suffering in almost without the reader noticing.  This has the effect somehow of almost amplifying the suffering and tragedy.  It also of course amplifies the heroism.
      I found this book a little more difficult to read than others by the same author.  I suspect that this was as much the fact that I read it while RG and I were away as it was about the book itself.  Although the content of the book made it an uncomfortable read this is not unusual for the author and having read a number of his books previously I was fully prepared for this.  I suspect that if I had read the book at a time when I was able to have more of a run at it I would have found it less of a struggle.  I would hate to put anyone off reading what is an extremely well written and gripping book.  As usual H E Bates delivered.
    • By cherrypie
      I found a very old copy of this book in the second hand book shop at a National Trust property for fifty pence earlier this year. I seem to remember there being a television adaptation of the book many years ago although I remember nothing about it. I have never read anything by this author before so decided to give it a go.
      I am about fifty pages in and am beginning to really enjoy it. Although not masses has happened yet the book is beautfully written. The language has a real richness about it and although the descriptive writing could be considered to be a bit long winded by some I am loving it. The book has a real atmosphere about and a feeling of the changing world. Although it is set in a time before I was born I can still appreciate the social changes portrayed in the book.
    • By Amanda Grange
      I've just been reading The Darling Buds of May again and I'd really like to read something else with the same kind of joie de vivre. I've already read the other Larkin novels, so can anyone recommend anything else that's similarly joyful?
    • By tagesmann
      I had only read one other novel by HE Bates before this (Fair Stood The Winds For France) and as I enjoyed that so much I thought I would give this a try. This isn't a long novel and the events take place over a few days. After, what I thought, was a slow start the story picked up pace and moved along to a good conclusion. A very simple story, well-told. If you have been put off trying HE Bates because of The Darling Buds Of May, this might be a good introduction to the other side of this underrated author.
  • Create New...