Invitation to the Waltz

Invitation to the Waltz A diary for her innermost thoughts a china ornament a ten shilling note and a roll of flame coloured silk for her first evening dress these are the gifts Olivia Curtis receives for her seventeenth

  • Title: Invitation to the Waltz
  • Author: Rosamond Lehmann
  • ISBN: 9781844083053
  • Page: 298
  • Format: Paperback
  • A diary for her innermost thoughts, a china ornament, a ten shilling note, and a roll of flame coloured silk for her first evening dress these are the gifts Olivia Curtis receives for her seventeenth birthday She anticipates her first dance, the greatest yet most terrifying event of her restricted social life, with tremulous uncertainty and excitement For her pretty, chA diary for her innermost thoughts, a china ornament, a ten shilling note, and a roll of flame coloured silk for her first evening dress these are the gifts Olivia Curtis receives for her seventeenth birthday She anticipates her first dance, the greatest yet most terrifying event of her restricted social life, with tremulous uncertainty and excitement For her pretty, charming elder sister Kate, the dance is certain to be a triumph, but what will it be for shy, awkward Olivia Exploring the daydreams and miseries attendant upon even the most innocent of social events, Rosamond Lehmann perfectly captures the emotions of a girl standing poised on the threshold of womanhood.

    One thought on “Invitation to the Waltz”

    1. I think I loved Invitation to the Waltz a little bit. I have a feeling about it that it could grow into my memory as a fonder experience. Sweet and sad. I'll sigh when spotting it on my bookshelf (it is still on my bedside table. I'm reluctant to let go of the evening just yet). It's what people mean when they describe an experience as bittersweet, probably. I don't know if I could trust a memory as real unless its edges were sharp. "Did I built it into something too perfect?" If you're like me [...]

    2. I loved this. I think, perhaps, one of the main reasons was because of the real sense of affection I felt that the author had for this wonderfully ordinary 17 year old girl. Her interior life has value and richness. Her experiences, her thoughts, her fears, are all legitimate subjects for a novel. Yes we are meant to laugh at her, but there is no meanness, no spite, no superiority - instead there is warmth and compassion. It is also probably the closest I will ever come to knowing what it was li [...]

    3. Description: A diary for her innermost thoughts, a china ornament, a ten-shilling note, and a roll of flame-coloured silk for her first evening dress—these are the gifts Olivia Curtis receives for her 17th birthday. She anticipates her first dance, the greatest yet most terrifying event of her restricted social life, with tremulous uncertainty and excitement. For her pretty, charming elder sister Kate, the dance is certain to be a triumph, but what will it be for shy, awkward Olivia? Exploring [...]

    4. What a delightful read! I came across this book due to comparisons with I Capture the Castle, another wonderful coming-of-age book and a favorite of mine.Invitation to the Waltz is told from the POV of Olivia, 17 year old protagonist, who has been invited to her first dance. The first half covers the morning of her birthday, and the preparations for the dance. The second half is the dance itself. This book is definitely not for those who like plot-driven, action-packed or fast-paced novels. In f [...]

    5. Upon first reading Invitation to the Waltz I thought it was a lively charming novel, which it is. This re-read of it however, has given me the chance to appreciate just how very good it is. First published in 1932, but set around 1920 Invitation to the Waltz is the story of a dance, seventeen year old Olivia's first ever, which she will attend with her beautiful older sister Kate. On the surface there isn’t much to the story at all. Olivia wakes to her seventeenth birthday, is given some marve [...]

    6. The moment I turned the last page, I exclaimed, "Wow." It's very difficult for me to articulate why I find this novel so enchanting and endearing. I think that as a 17-year old, I was a lot like the protagonist, Olivia, and the turning point of my teenage years, the moment when everything changed, also coincided with a dance. And much like her, I was sensitive, overly empathetic, and disliked most things aside from the 19th-century novel. Like her, I remembered and internalized all my interactio [...]

    7. This was the first Lehmann I read, and it's still probably my favorite. It's a simple snapshot of a teenage girl getting ready for and going to her first dance. Nothing momentous happens, but it's not meant to; it's just a beautifully written, sympathetically perceived portrait of its heroine, Olivia, and a short span in her life.

    8. Rosamond Lehman makes me realise how much Virginia Woolf had to say. How courageously she plumbed the depths of the human soul. Because Lehman whose style echoes Woolf’s and would have been impossible without Woolf as a mentor, can write beautifully but operates on an altogether more superficial level to Woolf. Not that this observation is meant to belittle Lehman’s talent; just put it into perspective. There’s a lovely deft sketchiness to Lehman’s style but it’s like watercolour in co [...]

    9. What could have been, with a less talented and sharp writer, a shallow, sentimental, soapy romance novel, becomes with the great Rosamond Lehmann a masterful exploration of adolescent angst and dreams, and one of the most delightful evocation, not only of a young girl's psyche, but also of a whole British social class at a certain time of its history. As usual, Lehmann approaches her characters with tenderness and compassion, but also with great realism and depth, and not, sometimes, without a l [...]

    10. This was a lovely little novel about a seventeen year old girl and her first dance. We've all been there; the fear that she'll be a wallflower, the awkwardness of making small talk, the dress that's not as nice as she had imagined, trying to figure out how to navigate the adult world. The action takes place in 1920, but seems very contemporary. Some things never change. The author does a wonderful job of putting you inside Olivia's mind and emotions.

    11. I was interested in reading "Invitation to the Waltz", by Rosamund Lehmann, primarily because of Lehmann's association with the Bloomsbury Group through her brother, John Lehmann, who worked for the Woolfs in their publishing endeavor, the Hogarth Press. What I found is that Rosamund Lehmann has been influenced by Virginia Woolf's writing concepts, and the stream-of-consciousness method.The entire book takes place during one day, similar to "Mrs. Dalloway". The two main characters, Kate and Oliv [...]

    12. Living is going on on the other side of the wall, but I’ve left it. I don’t want it. I hate it; it hates and rejects me. I forget and am forgotten. I’m nothing.The Beginning: The village, in the hollow below the house, is picturesque, unhygienic.Olivia Curtis is shy and sensitive; her sister Kate is beautiful and popular. Olivia reads books and writes poetry, Kate is social and outgoing. They’re both invited to a ball and we follow their expectations and feelings towards their peers – [...]

    13. This kept reminding me of a girls school story. It was written in 1932 and even now I've probably read more school stories from that era than I have adult literature; and the central character is seventeen year old Olivia who is more-or-less the kind of upper middle class nice girl who might have turned up at the Chalet School or its ilk.It was just the same turns of phrase and atmosphere that linked this book to my childhood reading though, this is a more honest look at a young woman. The story [...]

    14. My first foray into the work of Rosalind Lehmann will not be my last. Lehmann presents a beguiling story of a week in the life of a young woman that includes her birthday and an important dance. Within this tight structure, the author develops interesting characters, explores issues of class and describes English country society between the wars. All the blogs were right--this is a terrific novel.

    15. I wasn't too fussed about the over convoluted descriptions of nature, but Olivia's dancing partners and her conversations with them were spot on. Very funny, sweet book about growing up and how at seventeen everything feels so serious and the future is a terrifying thing. I especially liked the talk with her Uncle suggesting she won't feel comfortable with herself until she's about 30, and Olivia is horrified.

    16. I actually felt sad when this book ended. It went too swiftly! I felt downhearted that I had to leave dear Olivia (and Kate) after knowing them for only a short while. Thank goodness there is a sequel or else I would feel much sadder than I do now. Rosamond Lehmann = majorly talented author. I am convinced she could turn a story about watching paint dry into a compelling and beautiful read.

    17. A fairly simple and charming tale of a young girl on the occasion of her 17th Birthday and of the preparations for her first dance. The writing is beautiful and, although I thought it was going to be a difficult read at first, I soon got into the rhythm. It's told from the perspective of the main character Olivia and occasionally that of her sister Kate. As we hear her thoughts, opinions and insecurities we can't help but remember our own experiences at that age. The stream of consciousness styl [...]

    18. El baile en si mismo, es el mundo que espera a Olivia, a punto de dejar la adolescencia. La inmersión de Olivia en este su primer baile, las ansiedades, la anticipación y la excitación, y la gente que irá conociendo en esta noche, realmente la ayudará a conocerse mejor a sí misma y a desenvolverse en ese tan cercano mundo adulto al que está a punto de adentrarse esta chica de 17 años. Olivia es consciente por primera vez de la artificiosidad de ciertas reuniones sociales donde se hacen m [...]

    19. Gently novel that has some beautiful written passages. I could identify with Olivia and enjoyed the way her thoughts were shown.

    20. I recently finished An Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann. She was on the fringe of the Bloomsbury set, and there are echoes of Virginia Woolf in the way she concentrates on a very short space of time and presents the thoughts of the main protagonists, rather then telling a story with a strong plot. On the one hand, I have to say that it was amusing and endearing to get under the skin of the teenage girl, Olivia, as she prepares for the all-important first dance. On the other hand, this [...]

    21. This charming book, first published in 1932, follows the sensitive Olivia Curtis through two important days of her life: her seventeenth birthday and, a week later, her first dance. Set in 1920, it evokes the clumsy mixture of eagerness, innocence and embarrassment that surrounds a girl who longs to live to the full but knows she is not one of the prettiest ones.This is a wonderful portrait of a girl on the brink of womanhood and a particular time and place. Rosamond Lehmann is probably best kno [...]

    22. This book follows seventeen year old Olivia in the days before her first dance. We meet an array of different characters, from her beautiful sister, Kate to the cheeky children of the village all seen from Olivia's point of view, some times innocent, yet often with a wry insight and always with tenderness. I loved the flow and rhythm of this story as you bounce along with Olivia. Also, although the book is set clearly within a 1920s time frame and within a certain class, I think young girls of t [...]

    23. Delicada y preciosa historia sobre la presentacion en sociedad de una señorita inglesa poco después de la I Guerra Mundial.El baile, centro de la historia, aparece como un simil del "gran mundo" que rodea a la alta sociedad rural inglesa, además de como una barrera, cruel y definitiva, que separa los dulces sueños de la juventud de los duros embites de la vida.Delicioso y MUY recomendable. Y lo publica Errata Naturae, ¿que mas quereis?

    24. Not much happens in this book, but then nothing is really supposed to happen: it's just a snapshot of a moment in the life of a young girl who was living at a time of immense social change in Britain, one of the last generation of upper-middle-class girls who would be educated at home by a governess, have a brief coming out season, and then be married off to a nice young man. Very light and charming, a quick and pleasurable read.

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