The Gioconda Smile, by Aldous Huxley

33290188I’m not a fan of reading plays, as I said here so many times, but I had to read one for a reading challenge, so here I was… I chose this book because, every now and then, when I saw it in the bookshelf, I thought “Ah, might be interesting”, but then I saw it was a play and lost interest immediately. This happened to me many times, because apparently I always deleted the memory of it being a play.
What I’m not certain if this was originally written as a play, or this is just an adaptation…

The story plot, as found in Goodreads, is this:
Henry Hutton, a prosperous English landowner, flirts with Miss Janet Spence, an unmarried woman in her late thirties. After toying with her affections, Hutton hurriedly departs to take home his young Cockney mistress, Doris, and then to return to his wife, who is an almost complete invalid. Mr. and Mrs. Hutton have reached an impasse in their marriage: He is terminally bored with the relationship, while she approaches life with the querulous disapproval of the chronically ill.

This is a crime story, with so much drama added to it
I believe the Goodreads’ plot is a little misgiven, or maybe my interpretation is a bit different. I don’t think Mr Hutton flirted at all with Miss Spence, I don’t think he ever saw her as other thing than as a friend, but oh well, Miss Spence would have disagree with me, surely.
The back cover of my edition totally sold me the book as a crime mystery, with an unexpected ending. I don’t think there was a mystery at all. After reading the first pages, I could foresee who was going to be the victim, who was the murderer (I mean, the character practically does it on our faces) and who was going to be falsely accused. It did grow on suspense towards the ending, as one wondered if the true was ever going to come out.
All in all, it was ok, was enjoyable, and, as most plays, would probably look better performed than read.

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