Published (July?) 1926
(First read 03/12/2014)
Mezzanine is yet another Benson novel in which very little happens at very great length.
At the end of Sheaves (1908), his other novel which deals with the problem of what happens when a woman marries a man much younger than herself (and which is only marginally more eventful than Mezzanine), EFB dropped this lukewarm potato by having the wife conveniently die of consumption at a swanky Swiss ski resort. At the start of this one he picks it up and literally saunters with it for a few hundred pages before dropping it again because he's run out of space. Our heroine in this case is Mrs Elizabeth Langdon; we meet her on her 47th birthday¹:
She was tall and solidly made, and like most big women carried herself well; she looked brisk and capable and serene, as if she had dealt very successfully with life hitherto, and was assured of efficiency in the future.Alas, 'twas not to be. Her husband Walter is ten years her junior; they've been married 10 or 12 years and have a 9-year old son, Tony. Lizzie worries about getting old ... more specifically she worries that Walter, who's just been given a new lease on life after recovering from years of residual malaria, is, despite his unwavering devotion to her, starting to find her dull.
Enter Evie. [in progress]
¹ EFB also used this device in Mr Teddy (1917), which opens on that gentleman's 40th.