TagJoyce Cary

Joyce Cary, ‘A Good Investment’ (1954)

Tom Catto, a forty-eight-year-old widower, decides to find a new wife; taking a utilitarian view, he looks for someone who can be a good housekeeper and look after his daughter. During his search, tom is reunited with members of the Bill family whom he knew as a youngster; he marries the youngest Bill sister, Francie, who is put upon horrendously by her mother and sister. As time goes by, Tom realises that his feelings for Francie may be more genuine than he had thought.

This is the second of Cary’s stories in the anthology, and my opinion has not much changed from when I read the first. ‘A Good Investment’ does its job adequately, and there’s a certain energy to its telling; but it left no great impression on me and did not inspire me to seek out any more of the author’s work.

Rating: ***

Joyce Cary, ‘Umaru’ (1950)

The white Britsih officer commanding a detachment of black soldiers in Cameroon finds more in common with his sergeant than he had imagined. I quite liked the telling of this story, but didn’t, to be honest, find it particularly affecting. At five pages, I think ‘Umaru’ is too short for me to gain a proper impression of Cary’s work; but he has another, longer, piece later in the anthology, which may facilitate that.

Rating: ***

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