ePub Friends and Heroes ePub

by Olivia Manning

This is the third in Olivia Manning’s Balkan Trilogy and follows on from “The Great Fortune,” and “The Spoilt City.”The first two volumes of the trilogy saw Guy and Harriet Pringle in Bucharest – newly married and coping in a Europe newly at war. This book sees Harriet travel to Athens alone and awaiting Guy’s arrival. Many of the characters who populated the first two novels also appear here, including Dubedat, Lush and Prince Yakimov.Indeed, so isolated is Harriet when she arrives that Yakimov, previously despised by her as an unwanted presence in her life, and her apartment, now becomes a friendly face in an unknown city.

It is fair to say that Guy Pringle is one of the most frustrating characters in any novel and his arrival, as expected, does not improve Harriet’s life noticeably. Politically naïve,emotionally warm and gregarious; Guy spends his time thinking the best of everyone despite the reality of his situation and unwilling to face reality. Guy had worked in the English department of the University in Bucharest, but, once in Greece, he finds that Dubedat, Lush and Professor Pinkrose are unwilling to help Guy with work – as he once helped them. Harriet is constantly frustrated by her husband’s unwillingness to see anything but the best about everyone and begins to feel more and more neglected as these books continue. Indeed, this novel sees her attracted to Charles Warden, as she feels her marriage means little to Guy, who has time for everyone but her, in a life taken up by providing entertainment for the troops and pouring his attention on students and friends.

As with the other novels, this is largely based on Olivia Manning’s experiences as a young wife during wartime and paints an evocative image of life during that period. Harriet believes she has escaped the danger and upheaval of Bucharest for a better life in Athens.However, as optimism in Greece turns again to disquiet, rumour and encroaching danger, you worry that Harriet will never find her feet in a constantly unstable Europe – mirrored in her rocky,unsteady marriage. She wants certainty and safety and had hoped to find that within her marriage, but now she is unsure whether Guy is the man to provide that for her. This story continues in “The Levant Trilogy” -consisting of, “The Danger Tree,” “The Battle Lost and Won,” and “The Sum of Things.” Although I have read these books before, man years ago, I am enjoying re-reading these novels very much and look forward to reading on.

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Book Title
Book Author
PublisherChivers Audio Books
Release date 02.12.2005
eBook formatAudio, (torrent)En
File size1.9 Mb
Book rating4.06 (63 votes)
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