The aunts begin Polly's German, math, writing, and church training. Woods want her to get up and make the fire so that they all can get back to their lives. All orders will be delivered by An Post. Reading about it and trying to imagine the moors as I did while reading Wuthering Heights and the scenes that play out is a different experience by itself. She does occasionally supply coffee. Even the last, as Polly by then had his daughters living with her. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege.
To the lonely orphan this bleak coast of England was so isolated she might well have been marooned on an island. You come to know the characters the same way a child does, at first just superficially and then as years go by with the deeper understanding and forgiveness that maturity brings. As they are in life: our time on this planet is always a struggle to order experiences into a narrative, to dig out the hidden causes and discern the multitudinous effects. She is very persceptive about children and childhood and about family relationships. Certainly, both are stranded, abandoned, lonely, and both step back from the situation to get some perspective and control, but while Crusoe could manipulate his environment to overcome some of his problems, Polly can only change herself.
Each time I read it i discover more detail and parts thati hadn't fully appreciated. Polly soon finds herself the ward of a pair of sisters who are already implicated in the rigor mortis of British Empire, with all the ossified rituals of Christianity and prohibitive class divisions and contingent marriages that this implies. Like previous Gardam titles will skew to female readers and Anglophiles. In 1904, Polly Flint, aged six, is brought to the Yellow House of her dead mother's sisters on the pristine marsh in northern England, by her seafaring father who shortly after does down with his ship while waving a gin bottle. What do we look back on? Their success in life in these immovable, unrelenting country places was judged by their ability to get married as soon as possible to a suitable man who could support them, to breed, to live chaste and never to think of working for their living. She wants to destroy him. Made me want to re-read Robinson Crusoe.
All the hymn-words spring up and the Collects, Creeds, and Epistles. Jane wants us to empathize with her characters, what they are going through, but never sympathize. Gardam's title is less another name for Polly Flint than a warning that this fate could await her as well, the inevitable consequence of the obliteration of human ties, as if she were a native of the rocks. As native Germans, the Zeits wonderful name are persecuted in England during World War I, so they make the amazing decision to return to Germany. Het boek Robinson wordt haar bijbel, het boek waar ze haar hele leven lang houvast in vindt.
Crusoe's Daughter, ambitious, moving and wholly original, is her story. While many of the turning points in Polly's life were riveting, the times between were mundane and seemed to last a hundred pages at a time. In fact, each level is complementary to the other; the sum is greater than its parts. Crusoe, an obviously pragmatic man who must deal with each day as it comes, relies on his own ingenuity to solve his problems, just as Polly knows she will have to do. Wilkie Collins' quintessential butler also frequently consults Robinson Crusoe for guidance.
We see her cope with love and loss. I have discovered Jane Gardam only relatively recently, and love her spare and elegant style. Throughout the years she would turn again and again to this book, so identifying with him and his situation. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled, and now - after a decade without answers - it's time for the truth. Her silence and cunning in depicting the exile of Crusoe's daughter has this Joyce fan in awe. At the end all makes sense and you marvel how every component of the story holds together.
We are given no answers. I'm an ardent Jane Gardam fan, and will read all of her 21 books. Still, it isn't the first thing I'd recommend to someone who is unfamiliar with her work. Arthur can't say yes - it would be too awkward; he can't say no - it would look like defeat. We all wrestle with the questions posed by Defoe and Eliot, even if we don't do so as overtly as Polly Flint.
Het boek Robinson wordt haar bijbel, het boek waar ze haar hele leven lang houvast in vindt. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. This is how Polly survives, and moreover it is how, in Gardam's hands, the novel swims on, holding in itself that fibrous strength that keeps these tales afloat into the new millennium. I liked the beginning with descriptions of her simple life with her aunts in the yellow house, but the story got very boring after awhile. I do like it when a book follows someone through their life but this can also seem sad too, to see a child age and grow old over a few days of your life.