An Unofficial Rose

Murdoch, Iris. An Unofficial Rose. New York: Viking Press, 1962.

I read this book in practically one night. I have mixed feelings about Murdoch’s Unofficial Rose. For starters, I never felt like I got to know the characters well enough to care about what happened to them. To be honest I was disgusted by them, all of them. The relationships could be broken at a whim. Marriages meant nothing. It reminded me of a throw of the dice. Partnerships came and went, were formed and were broken again. Nothing was permanent or sacred.
The thing I liked the most was the suspense. No one knew who was really being honest with anyone else. I didn’t know where anyone’s true heart was laid. Okay – here’s a spoiler: son wants to run off with his young mistress. He demands money from his father in the form of the sale of a beloved painting just so he can run away with said mistress. Father sells painting, even though it was his prized possession (and the very item he thinks he married his wife for). Son’s wife has a chance at divorce and a new relationship with someone who might love her and she admits loving back. She declines just in case cheating hubby changes his mind and comes back to her. I was irritated with her but I did not know the character enough to care.

Booklust Twist: Nancy Pearl recommends anything and everything by Iris Murdoch (Book Lust, p.162).

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