Martha in Paris Author:Margery Sharp MARTHA IN PARIS is the beguiling story of a most extraordinary young lady, an artist who belongs in the same delightful and select company of Margery Sharp's heroines as Cluny Brown and the irrepressible Julia of THE NUTMEG TREE. In this "portrait of the artist as a young woman.? Margery Sharp uses all her individual observation ? humorous, ten... more »der and astringent ? to recount a climacteric twelve months in the life of eighteen-year old Martha, who was sent to Paris to learn to paint, and learned a. great deal else besides.
Readers who first met Martha as the stolid, matter-of fact and altogether memorable child in THE EVE OF LOVE and wondered what would happen to this truly independent spirit when con¬fronted with Life now have an oppor¬tunity to find out.
Oblivious to the glamour and temptations of Paris. Martha's single minded pursuit of creativity and her matronly appearance seem to protect her from her Aunt Dolores's delicately-put fear that "Martha might come to some harm . , ." Once called the Young Pachyderm by a friend back home near Paddington Station, perhaps because he glimpsed something tough-cara-paced about her even then, Martha is now Mother Bunch to her fellow art students. Apparently the threat of Paris is to be lost on her as she at once sets herself up in a doggedly methodi¬cal routine of working, eating and sleeping.
But Paris has an outrageous joke to play on Martha. It all begins with her somewhat unconventional adoration of deep, hot baths, after which she always looked her most attractive, or as the French say, "appetizing." Nice hot baths involve Martha in an experience with a young Englishman (City of Lon¬don Bank. Paris Branch) which would challenge the resources of a far more sophisticated girl than Martha. How she triumphantly copes with the result¬ing situation is the theme of this en¬gaging novel.
As vivid as the portrait of Martha is the picture of Paris with its inquisitive concierges, eccentric baths and chance meetings in the Tuileries Gar¬dens. Sparkling with warmth, wit and accurate characterizations, MARTHA IN PARIS is one of Margery Sharp's most entertaining and original novels.« less