No, no, no, no, no.
Just when I thought Greene had begun to find his stride as a writer and that The Heart of the Matter really was his worst book, England Made Me proves me wrong.
There are some great passages – all mostly within the first 30 pages – and then it is downhill from there….plot-wise. Because the story became so boring that I still have problems recollecting what actually happened. And I only just finished the book.
On the positives: Whatever happened between 1934 and 1935, Greene has now realised that female characters are also three-dimensional individuals, and that portraying women in novels as cliched side-kicks is best left to the Ian Flemings* of this world.
“It was true, she always knew; she was his elder by half an hour; she had, she sometimes thought with a sense of shame, by so little outstripped him in the pursuit of the more masculine virtues, reliability, efficiency, and left him with what would have served most women better, his charm.”
(* I am aware of the anachronism – but can’t help myself comparing Greene and Fleming from time to time.)
1.5* (out of 5*)