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Old 01-16-2020, 04:49 PM   #29
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
Well, I disagree with this. My impression is that she was destitute, that the bookstore had eaten up all her resources. For that matter, I don't know if it's clear why she fetched up in Hardborough in the first place. She's been there for "eight years of half a lifetime." She's been a widow for 20 years, presumably the half a lifetime. Why caused her to move there in 1951? Her coming is random just as her going is, but it was a catastrophic choice on her part.
I admit I was being partly facetious, but there is so much we don't know surrounding this story. At the start she had a car and a "very small amount of money her late husband had left her". At the end we learn the car is gone and must presume the "very small amount" is also gone. However, at the end we also read "having sent her heavy luggage on ahead" and are forced to wonder "to where?" She doesn't appear to have been made actually bankrupt as such, and apparently has somewhere else to go, but like so much else in this book, that is not explained.

If, as seems to be the case, Florence has little love for books why should she suddenly seem to care, at the end, that she had lived nearly ten years in a town that "had not wanted a bookshop"? There are so many things she could have cried over, but instead she cries over something that wasn't true (or wasn't relevant, she would be in the same position had she been selling "widgets") and never appeared to matter very much before. The result was my partly facetious reaction: if she's crying over something like that, then her future can't be looking that bad.
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