What is a Veblen? No idea. A squirrel? Certainly the cover of THE PORTABLE VEBLEN features a squirrel. By the end of the first paragraph you have been introduced to your heroine and realise that it is she who is Veblen but why is she portable?
Paul and Veblen are engaged to marry and THE PORTABLE VEBLEN is their love story. They seem to be ill-matched, both come from damaged family backgrounds and appear to be running away with no clear of idea of where. Will they run to each other or spring apart. Whilst they wrestle with ambition and emotion, they are watched all the time by a squirrel. Well Veblen thinks it is always the same squirrel; Paul naturally has other ideas. Although I recognize that each squirrel is unique to its Mother, I am afraid they all look the same to me; so it is entirely feasible that, instead of many separate squirrels, we are just being followed by the one.
Veblen is named for a Norwegian economist and much is made of the economist Veblen. Having a passing knowledge of economics from a past life, the name nagged at me but I could not place it. Turns out, he is the man who coined the phrase ‘Conspicuous Consumption’. Veblen lovingly adhers to the low consumption model of her namesake, whilst her fiancé wants the biggest, best and newest of everything.
I like to put down a completed book with a new nugget of knowledge, a sense of all ends neatly tied. Even though in these days of Kindle the cover no longer accompanies me everywhere I go, I still like a good cover. THE PORTABLE VEBLEN offers all these things, so if you like your novels with squirrels and economists then get down to your nearest bookshop now.
Disclaimer: I was given a review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
THE PORTABLE VEBLEN by Elizabeth McKenzie
Published by Fourth Estate
Paperback £8.99, Kindle £8.49