A Compass Error

A Compass Error, written by Sybille Bedford, © 1969. I found this summer at a used book sale in Somesville, ME. .   I had never heard of Sybille Bedford before this book leapt off the table into my hands.  Now that I have read one of her books I will be looking for them all.  This book’s title refers to “…the compass error that gets harder and harder to correct with every mile you go…” .   It’s a coming of age story, quasi biographical, that’s an  interesting take on sexuality of the 30s in Europe, written during the sexual revolution of the 60s.  It’s a story of learning how to live on your own, how the things you don’t know can effect you.  It’s the story of an awful treachery of the magnitude that hopefully only happens once in a life, and hopefully not even then.

This is really a fine piece of writing in a wonderful style.  Research finds this to be a sequel to A Favorite of The Gods, but not knowing this while reading  A Compass Error, I hadn’t missed it.  This book clearly stands on its own.  If you like writing for itself, like descriptions of places, like the idea not going to school: then this is good choice for you.   Go find it and enjoy every page!

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