A gentle romance begins innocently enough in the stalls of a London theatre where Catherine is enjoying her ninth and Christopher his thirty-sixth visit to the same play. He is a magnificent young man with flame-coloured hair. She is the sweetest little thing in a hat. There is just one complication: Christopher is twenty-five, while Catherine is just a little bit older. Flattered by the passionate attentions of youth, Catherine, with marriage and motherhood behind her, is at first circumspect, but finally succumbs to her lover's charms.
The Solitary Summer is a bitter-sweet memoir and companion to the beloved Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim. "I went along the edge of the stream to the seat round the oak in my spring garden, where I sat a little, looking at the morning from there, drinking…
The engaging humour of this autobiographical novel blunts the bitter edge of irony in the hypocrisy of 1920s society.
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