Wednesday, 1 July 2009
That Certain Age
My library based reading group wanted something light to read, so I chose Elizabeth Buchan's That Certain Age for us. It's a story in two intertwined parts, about two very different women and their different lives. One woman, Barbara is married to a former fighter pilot, now an airline pilot who flies off to exotic places, leaving his wife and children in their comfortable home. The other character, Siena is a modern career woman, married for some time to a husband who wants children, but does Siena herself want them? The comparison of the different periods that these women lived in ( Barbara' life is set in the 1950's) is interesting. Barbara's husband doesn't want her to work outside the home, while Siena's is quite happy for her to jet off to the States for a project. A novel to make one think about the delicate balances within any relationship, about what happiness is, and how it can differ from person to person and time to time, and also about the importance for a woman of her own money, to do with as she wishes. This last point has always been important to me, as it was to my mother, also a working mother in her time. Barbara's life is more restricted than Siena's by the fact that she has to rely on her husband for finances, and has to find devious ways to be her own self, in a way that Siena does not, although she has her own difficult choices to make in life.