Alas! I've been having some bad luck this summer with books I was certain to like. High Rising isn't awful, but it's not the sort of book I would have made sure to purchase after the first read. Enterprising career women, gossiping servants, romances that end exactly as they should...it's all pretty standard fare, but here these comfortable tropes are matched by some absolutely horrible classism, which I can't in this case simply excuse as an accurate reflection of its time, because we readers are asked to align ourselves with it in a most uncomfortable fashion. I rather enjoyed Laura Morland's son Tony, a schoolboy with a singular obsession with trains and an inability to talk about anything else, but I couldn't get behind the vilification of the secretary Miss Grey ("the Incubus"). I like my frothy fiction to be free of oppression and prejudice, wherever possible, so this one just didn't cut it.
Now what to do with the book, which, as a physical object, is indeed very pleasing?