Waiting for Childhood

Waiting for Childhood In this engrossing extraordinarily well crafted novel by the author of Careful He Might Hear You seven red headed children six girls and a boy in the middle whose father dies between a bite of toas

  • Title: Waiting for Childhood
  • Author: Sumner Locke Elliott
  • ISBN: 9780060915063
  • Page: 313
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this engrossing, extraordinarily well crafted novel by the author of Careful, He Might Hear You, seven red headed children six girls and a boy in the middle whose father dies between a bite of toast and a sip of tea are transplanted from the Australian outback to a suburb of Sydney, there to deal in their several ways with unexpected and unprepared for poverty ExaceIn this engrossing, extraordinarily well crafted novel by the author of Careful, He Might Hear You, seven red headed children six girls and a boy in the middle whose father dies between a bite of toast and a sip of tea are transplanted from the Australian outback to a suburb of Sydney, 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 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 time the early decades of this century comes 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.From Publishers WeeklyFrom 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, Locke, Australian 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.

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      Sumner Locke Elliott

    About Author

    1. Elliott was born in Sydney to the writer Helena Sumner Locke and the journalist Henry Logan Elliott His mother died of eclampsia one day after his birth Elliott was raised by his aunts, who had a fierce custody battle over him, fictionalized in Elliott s autobiographical novel, Careful, He Might Hear You Elliott was educated at Cranbrook School in Bellevue Hill, Sydney.

    One thought on “Waiting for Childhood

    1. Elliott dwells in familiar territory here, fleshing out themes that were already well explored in the earlier Careful He Might Hear You, but don t be fooled this journey is taken for one very important reason, which is to explore what might have happened in his family had he never been born A fascinating topic for an author whose relatives provided so much material for his work.


    2. This book is told in episodes that run into each other, but there are years long gaps in the narratives for each of the characters in turn This makes me lose emotional connection with them Maybe that s the author s point as each of the 7 Lord children also lose their connection with each other and end up as strangers.Some of the episodes are touching I really enjoyed reading about Adnia, the club footed religious nut, and the Greek sailor she briefly befriends I also liked reading about Jess and [...]


    3. Well written family tale set in Australia Short but pithy If you liked A Town Like Alice, you ll like this one Maybe even better.


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