Classics are something I adore to read. They teach me new words, the ways of the world at different time periods, and they're classics for a reason: usually they're fab. To say I was let down by Wild Strawberries is a bit of an understatement. It's part of Virago's Modern Classics series, and whilst it does document life at a particular point in time (the 1930s to be precise), it just fell short for me, making it my least favourite read of the year thus far.
The book follows the tale of Mary Preston who comes to live with her Aunt and cousins in their large wooded estate. She soon realises she's falling for her cousin (iffy in itself), but David doesn't notice her blatant attempts to spend time with him. Instead he becomes absorbed by a flapper-esque woman, letting Mary down at every turn. His widower brother John (another cousin), however does notice Mary and starts to care for her. It's a classic tale of wanting a bad boy whilst there's a nice guy waiting behind to pick up the pieces.
I think part of my issue with it is that there's a whole lot of outdated humour in it. Whilst the sexist/racist jokes in it are designed to be funny, they just aren't. As well as deciding to not censor the 'n-word' in this recent version, the publishers have a foreword detailing just how humorous the book is. Which set my hopes up high and then saw them crashing down.
In a way, it reminded me a little of an Enid Blyton book, but without the plot. There was no mystery for the cousins in this book to get involved in, but instead a stream of similar dinner parties, no real action and a whole host of vaguely incestuous comments.
There are so many genuinely incredible books from this period out there, and this just isn't one of them.