Moments of Pleasure
Penguin, $16.95 pb
Beatrice Wood, banished by those around her to ‘the category of the aged’, is both the focus and the strength of Julian Davies’s third novel, Moments of Pleasure. Choosing to live her life as a single woman, she has been the unforgiven Magdalene of her family because for fifty years she has been the lover of Mark, a man twice married. A dapper moustache of a man, Mark drifts in and out of both Bea’s life and the novel.
While Bea lives by her own decisions that are a mystery to some of those around her, she also clings to the values that formed her in the era before 1929. Though the servants were dismissed, Bea did not say goodbye to her belief in courtesy, privacy, manners, good books and fine underwear.