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Publisher's Summary

Robert Arthur Kewdingham is an eccentric failure of a man. In middle age he retreats into a private world, hunting for Roman artefacts and devoting himself to bizarre mystical beliefs. Robert's wife, Bertha, feels that there are few things more dreadful than a husband who will persist in making a fool of himself in public. Their marriage consists of horrible quarrels, futile arguments, incessant bickering. Scarcely any friends will visit the Kewdinghams in their peaceful hometown, Shufflecester. Everything is wrong - and with the entrance of John Harrigall, a bohemian bachelor from London who catches Bertha's eye, they take a turn for the worse. Soon deep passions and resentments shatter the calm façade of the Kewdinghams' lives.

©2017 Estate of Anthony Rolls (P)2017 Soundings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Portrait of an Unhappy Marriage

Family Matters is not a traditional whodunnit, with a crime committed at the beginning and a perpetrator unmasked at the end. Rather, this enjoyably sardonic tale from the golden age of British detective fiction portrays ongoing attempts to kill off an annoying character, from the perspective of the perpetrator, and leaves us wondering how things will end (somewhat in the tradition of Frances Iles' "Malice Aforethought.") Characters are distinctive and sharply drawn, particularly in the portrayal of a deeply unhappy marriage. Dark humor runs through the work, from the opening description of the shambolic layout of the country town setting to the closing lines. Highly enjoyable.

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  • Lilania Kershaw
  • 06-07-18

Frustrating end

Great book but the end was a big let down. It felt as if the author suddenly got bored and just ended it abruptly.