I first read this novel in 1991: I was single and young, but even then, I loved this little ironic passage on marriage. Now, Smith’s delight in those whose imperfect marriages become an interesting fact, a bit of running commentary, seems even more delicious:
There you are you see, quite simple. If you cannot have your dear husband for a comfort and a delight, for a breadwinner and a cross patch, for a sofa, a chair or a hot-water bottle, one can use him as a Cross to be Borne.
“It reminds me of our craft articles published passim, in all our so-very-much-alike women’s papers: How to make a knitting bag out of a top hat. May also be used for a beret or a tea cosy.