The lark on the wing

by Elfrida Vipont

Paperback, 1950

Status

Available

Call number

JYF A VIP v2 c2

Publication

New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston [1970, c1950]

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Kit Haverard struggles to make her dream of becoming a singer a reality in this sequel to The Lark in the Morn, once again finding herself hemmed in by the expectations of her managing cousin Laura, and by the ill health of her father. Determined to continue with her studies on her own, Kit nevertheless agrees to work as her father's secretary, but when fate intervenes and Professor Haverard dies, she must take a stand at last, or lose her opportunity. Moving to London, where she shares a flat with her long-time friends Pony Cray, studying to be a doctor, and Helen Edgington, attending the London School of Economics, Kit takes a day job in the Friends International Service office, and begins singing lessons with Papa Andreas. But the path to her goal of being a great singer is a long and difficult one, with distractions and tempting short-cuts, and Kit will have to wake up - to the realities of the people around her, their lives and loves, and to the deeper strands of tragedy and joy that bind all of humanity together - before she truly has a gift worth giving...

Like its predecessor, I found The Lark on the Wing an immensely engaging and frequently poignant read - I can easily see why it was awarded Britain's Carnegie Medal in 1950 - and I finished it in one setting. Kit is an appealing heroine here: goodhearted, a loving friend, sister and cousin, despite her occasional blindness to the feelings of those around her (especially the feelings of the opposite sex for her!), and a gifted artist with an instinctive sense of beauty, and a respect for the integrity of her work. I saw some of the developments - the resolution of Kit's romantic future, the conclusion of the relationship between Laurence Cray and Milly Kitson - coming from afar, but this did not rob these narrative elements of their power, and I found myself close to weeping on more than one occasion. The depiction of Quaker beliefs and customs was as fascinating here as it was in the first book, although I did find myself wondering why the same characters would use the old "thou" and "thee" at certain times, and the "you" and "your" at others. Perhaps the older forms were used with elders? Could this be the moment - the 1950s - when that pattern began to change? I'll have to ask some of my Quaker relatives.

All in all, this was a strong second entry in Elfrida Vipont's five-volume saga chronicling the doings of the Haverard family. I'm eager to begin the third, The Spring of the Year!
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Original publication date

1950

ISBN

0030842727 / 9780030842726

Local notes

Haverard family series v2

Call number

JYF A VIP v2 c2

Barcode

4866
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