Waiting for Childhood

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9780060157975: Waiting for Childhood

Set in and around Sydney in the years just before and the decades following WWI, it unfolds the destinies of the seven children (six girls, one boy) of Reverend William Lord and his wife, children who grow up with several strikes against them and with remarkable confidence, only to have just about everything they need or want fail them. Early on they are confronted with the hard choices of adulthood as their nest disintegrates around them. ..........

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From Publishers Weekly:

In this engrossing, extraordinarily well-crafted novel by the author of Careful, He Might Hear You, seven red-headed childrensix girls and a boy in the middlewhose father dies between a bite of toast and a sip of teaare transplanted from the Australian outback to a suburb of Sidney, there to deal in their several ways with unexpected and unprepared-for poverty. Exacerbating these unfortunate circumstances is their mother's alienation, so profound that in her state of waking dream she hears the wheels of a carriage and, convinced that her husband is returning to her, rushes out and is crushed to death. From this point the children take over, each according to individual gifts and ambitions, each distinctive because Elliott's empathetic imagination understands both their virtues and their sins. There is Adnia, born with a crooked foot and destined for a moment's perfect happiness bestowed by a passing sailor, and Jess, reared in riches by an indulgent aunt but learning when the old woman dies that she has riches of her own. Shining a little more brightly than the rest is Sidney, who writes short stories by night and peddles them by day, becomes a smashing success, and falls in love wtih a charming, irresponsible clarinetist, beloved as well of her younger sister. Each of the siblings and their milieu and timethe early decades of this centurycomes alive and remains memorable in a novel whose insights keep equal pace with the author's smooth and beguiling prose. Literary Guild "Editor's Corner" selection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Forced to fend for themselves after the death of their parents, the seven Lord children make choices that re-create their familial roles. Eldest Lily, for instance, becomes an active socialist but never entirely gives up trying to keep the family together, while snobbish Jess becomes the paid companion to her rich aunt. In telling their story, LockeAustralian author of Careful, He Might Hear You explores themes of guilt, repression, and disappointment. The story shifts from one character to another, allowing the author to examine events from various points of view, but recurring images unify the narrative. Locke creates some very poignant scenes, and the conclusion of the novel is both dramatically and thematically satisfying. Recommended for all fiction collections. Michael J. Esposito, formerly with Special Libs. Assn. , Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Sumner Locke Elliott
Published by Harpercollins (1987)
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Elliott, Sumner Locke
Published by Harpercollins (1987)
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Book Description Harpercollins, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060157976

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