Thursday, July 13, 2017

Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes  410 pp.

Fellowes, creator of "Downtown Abbey" penned this book several years ago. It is also about the British upper class but this time focuses on the changes and deterioration of their way of life from post World War II to the present. The narrator is a bit of an outsider to the group of children of the gentry but is included in all the coming out balls, etc. In later life he is asked by his long estranged friend, Damian to locate the child he fathered with one of his ex-girlfriends. The dying Damian only knows of the child from an anonymous letter and wants to leave his fortune to the child. The book flashes back to various episodes in the lives of this group of friends between the narrator's interviews with the old girlfriends. Frequent foreshadowing about an incident in Portugal that led to Damian's self banishment from the group. That episode is revealed near the end of the book. The story is okay but not particularly captivating due to Fellowes' frequent digressions about the sociological changes occurring in Britain during the last half of the 20th century. It is almost as if he would forget he was telling a story and not writing an academic treatise.

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