Olivia Manning: The Levant Trilogy

Despite being only approximately two-thirds the length of The Balkan Trilogy, it took me longer to finish reading The Levant Trilogy. 

Olivia Manning is not to blame, but rather the awry emotional state I was in when I read the latter. I even entertained the thought of setting it aside for a lighter read, but I was rewarded for pressing on. I’m glad I trusted the recommendation of friends who thought the trilogies are worth experiencing. As I approached the Levant’s third book, my pace finally picked up and I could hardly put it down again; and by the time I turned the last page, I was not ready to let Guy and Harriet Pringle go.

Among other things, I think the second trilogy is a surprising critique on imperialism and British presence in the Levant. (“Lord, the things we do to other people’s countries.”)

And as I re-viewed the six books mentally, it felt to me like the twenty years of writing between the first volume and the last is a peeling away of life’s layers of unrealistic romanticism; so that by the end, one is left with the stark nakedness of reality — of war, marriage, and life. 

Is it a bleak depiction of life? Not entirely. Manning seemed to say that it all depends on how you play the cards you’re dealt. 

3 thoughts on “Olivia Manning: The Levant Trilogy”

    1. You really are my sister from another dad and mom! Hahaha I don’t watch that much tv or films either! The most films I’ve watched in a month occurred when I went into a phase of Iranian cinema. In fact, I’m not done with the first episode of Fortunes of War until now. I always find something else to do or read. Hahaha I’ll let you know when I finally get to sit down and watch the entire series. It won’t be anytime soon. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha sister from another mister! Lol. My husband is a total movie buff… he still says he can’t believe he married someone who hasn’t watch Titanic. This is us every night on the couch – him watching movie, me head in a book! Not talking to each other at all. We do have a happy marriage! Lol 😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s