The Charioteer by Mary Renault

TCThis is very different from her classical Greece books but appealed to our group because it was set in our city but in the time of the Second World War.

Laurie is a wounded soldier recovering in hospital, who becomes infatuated with Andrew, a conscientious objector working as an orderly.

Laurie’s old friend Ralph, from school days, whom Laurie had fallen in love with back then, coes to visit. Who to choose? Otherworldly Andrew or down-to-earth Ralph?

The soul in a metaphor, is a charioteer in charge of two horses, one beautiful and well-behaved, the other wild and wilful. The charioteer has to keep peace between them and ensure that they don’t drag the chariot off-course.

This novel was written in the 1950’s when homosexuality was a taboo subject.

I read bits on holiday and looked forward to returning to the hotel to continue nit.

There some stereotypes – a mother who married beneath her, a father died of alcoholism when his son was aged ten  .

Gay men are discussing a blackmail case and conclude that the law means you mix with advanced psychopaths, have false sense of solidarity, the news would you’re your mother with a weak heart, there’s never been a census so you don’t know how many there are, anyone would think it was normal like whether you like your eggs scrambled or fried, if our fathers had been like us we wouldn’t have been born, suicide.

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