Sons and Lovers by D H Lawrence (Penguin Classics, 2012)
The recently released film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover (ISBN: 978014144198, paperback, Penguin, 2006) reminded me that it’s a long time since I had read his novels. The Rainbow and Women in Love (ISBN: 9780141441382 and ISBN: 9780141441542, both paperback, Penguin, 2007) also made it to the big screen: the first charts the lives and tensions of three generations of the Brangwen family; the second, a sequel, focuses in on the relationships of sisters Ursula and Gudrun. However, over the passage of time, it is Sons and Lovers (ISBN: 9780141199856, paperback) that has stuck with me. It was a favourite of my A Level teacher, who probably thought she couldn’t risk Lady C with a class full of teenagers, but still hoped this novel would offer sufficient draw. Set in Nottinghamshire and highly autobiographical, the harshness of a coal mining life lingers with me, as well as the fractures in the family, the ambitions Gertrude has for her children and the consequences of these ambitions.