The Beginning of Spring (ISIS Large Print)

3.76 avg rating
( 1,270 ratings by Goodreads )
9781850893530: The Beginning of Spring (ISIS Large Print)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:

When the Moscow printing business Frank Reid has inherited from his father begins to fail, he feels that his problems could not get any worse, until his wife Nellie leaves him and returns to the West

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.


In March 1913, Frank Reid's wife abruptly leaves him and Moscow for her native England. Naturally, she takes their daughters and son with her. The children, however, only make it as far as the train station--and even after returning home remain unaffected by their brief exile. "They ought either to be quieter or more noisy than before," their father thinks, "and it was disconcerting that they seemed to be exactly the same." Frank's routines, however, drift into disorder as he tries desperately to take charge of life at home and work. Even his printing plant is suddenly confronted by the specters of modernization and utter instability.

In Penelope Fitzgerald's fiction, affection and remorse are all too often allied, and desire and design seem never to meet. Frank wants little more than a quiet, confident life--something for which he is deeply unsuited, and which Russia certainly will not go out of her way to provide. The Beginning of Spring is filled with echoes of past wrongs and whispers of the revolution to come, even if the author evokes these with abrupt comic brio. (In one disturbance, "A great many shots had hit people for whom they were not intended.") As ever, Fitzgerald makes us care for--and want to know ever more about--her characters, even the minor players. Her two-page description of Frank's chief type compositor, for instance, is a miracle of precision and humor, sympathy and mystery. And the accountant Selwyn Crane--a Tolstoy devotée, self-published poet, and expert at making others feel guilty--is a sublime creation. His appetite for do-gooding is insatiable. After one fit of apparent altriusm, "Selwyn subsided. Now that he saw everything was going well, his mind was turning to his next charitable enterprise. With the terrible aimlessness of the benevolent, he was casting round for a new misfortune." As she evokes her household of tears and laughter, Fitzgerald's prose is as witty as ever, rendering the past present and the modern timeless. --Kerry Fried

Book Description:

Mariner paperback, 1998, previous ISBN 978-0-395-90871-6

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

(No Available Copies)

Search Books:

Create a Want

If you know the book but cannot find it on AbeBooks, we can automatically search for it on your behalf as new inventory is added. If it is added to AbeBooks by one of our member booksellers, we will notify you!

Create a Want

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780544484115: The Beginning of Spring

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0544484118 ISBN 13: 9780544484115
Publisher: Mariner Books, 2015

9780395908716: The Beginning of Spring

Marine..., 1998

9780002232616: The beginning of spring

Collins, 1988

9780805009811: Beginning of Spring

Henry ..., 1989

9780006543701: The Beginning of Spring (Flamingo)

Harper..., 2003