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Publisher's Summary

Since leaving his job to look after Alexa, his eight year old daughter, Thomas Bradshaw has found the structure of his daily piano practice and the study of musical form brings a nourishment to these difficult middle years. His pursuit of a more artistic way of life shocks and irritates his parents and his in-laws.
©2009 Rachel Cusk (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

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  • Penni
  • St Andrews, Australia
  • 07-29-10

Incisive, challenging novel that fails to satisfy

I found this difficult to engage with, the switches in point of view were sometimes difficult to track in audio format and it might have been easier to read. The narrator was okay, particularly faced with such a difficult read, but the voice she used for the child Alexa was a little twee, and she kept changing the way she pronounced Claudia, which I found distracting (especially in the long tract which is clearly written like a play script).

As for Cusk's writing, I knew what I was getting after reading Arlington Park at a time when I really needed to read a complex novel about motherhood and child-rearing. But I found in this novel she was so incisive she was cruel. She is unforgiving of her characters, and her dissection of the family is unresolved and unsettled by the end. Modern life is damned, but I am not sure Rachel Cusk can conceive of anything better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C. R. Yule
  • 11-10-16

Pointless

The worst sort of middle class families, so unpleasant I didn't care what happened to them, even when the very worst befalls them I couldn't summon anything. Don't bother.