Book Notes: Book 2 in Jane Gardam’s Trilogy

The Man in the Wooden Hat is the second novel in the “Old Filth Trilogy”, and it’s supposed to offer the perspective of the main character’s wife Elisabeth.

The problem, however, is that Elisabeth is an extremely vapid, boring person with no perspective. The only interesting thing she does in her life is cheat on her fiancé once. I’m not pro-infidelity but I was cheering on her to cheat again because literally nothing else happens in the novel except for that one instance of cheating that readers already know about from the first book in the series.

The novel doesn’t remotely live up to Old Filth. The writing is still beautiful but there’s nothing for Gardam to write about because there’s no plot. There’s a third book, which gives the story of the guy Elisabeth cheated with but I don’t know if I’m going to read it. He’s supposed to have pined for Elisabeth his whole life, and who but a boring person could love such a non-entity?

If anybody here is familiar with the trilogy, please advise.


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