Clear Horizon? Not from here it’s not!
Clear Horizon, book eleven of Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage, has been a wet blanket of a read for me. Things seemed to be looking up for Miriam Henderson after her jaunt in the snowy Swiss wonderland of Oberland, and her lifted spirits were still evident in the last volume, Dawn’s Left Hand. However, all that positivity had run out by the start of Clear Horizon. Maybe it brought Miriam too close to people and her need for solitude caused her to start cutting ties, left,right and centre.
In an unexpected move, she tries to match-make between Michael and Amabel. Things are awkward between her and Hypo, especially when she takes Amabel along to see him. It was hard enough coping with the tension between them when Hypo drops a clanger of huge import, with no further explanation or clarification (thanks Dorothy!).
Sleep. ‘You, Miriam,’ ran his message, ‘booked for maternity, must stand aside, while the rest of us, leaving you alone in a corner, carry on our lives’.
Still a member of the Lycurgans, Miriam’s socialism is not enough for Amabel who becomes involved with the Suffragettes, is arrested on a protest march and is imprisoned. Miriam visits her, but something has changed between them, and Miriam is ready to distance herself. Likewise with Hypo, when letters arrive from him, she is unmoved.
In the meantime, she discovers her sister Sarah is seriously ill, and there is no money to pay for treatment. In despair, she approaches good old Dr. Densley who gallantly sorts out her treatment and care for a pittance. Despite, her turning him down in the past, Densley is courteous and concerned about Miriam’s own health, fearing a nervous breakdown, and recommending complete rest. Miriam agrees that she probably is at breaking point, and arranges to go away for a while to recuperate. Whether this has anything to do with the pregnancy that was mentioned earlier that seems to have disappeared, one can only guess.
Next up, will be Dimple Hill. I do hope things look up for Miriam soon, or I’m going to need a rest cure myself!