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The Pure Gold Baby

Drabble, Margaret

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Pure Gold Baby
Her promising career in 1960s London interrupted by an affair with a married professor that renders her a single mother, Jessica Speight faces wrenching questions about responsibility, potential, and compassion when her sunny child reveals unique needs.

Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2013
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 0544158903
Characteristics: 291 pages ;,24 cm


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Jan 19, 2014

I usually finish all the books I start. This one is an exception. Too boring, too pedantic, too confusing. Not sure of the point, nothing interesting ever happens and I don't find myself even learning anything new.

Dec 30, 2013
  • toby65 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A nice holiday read. Not especially interesting or challenging (apart from the prolific use of the word 'proleptic' which I still can't quite figure out)....

Dec 22, 2013
  • Edgarmole rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This novel is written to sound as if it is a memoir an older woman is writing about the life of her long-time women friend, a woman with an anthropology degree whose career was derailed when she became a single mom with a daughter who is a special needs child. The daughter has a sunny disposition, but she has a physical deformity of her fingers and toes, along with mental retardation. The mother of this child does a lot of mental gymnastics to justify to herself the sacrifice of a more satisfying intellectual life in order to care properly for her daughter. At the end, the mother views the course of her life as fate, because when she was five years old, she loved a little neighbor girl who had deformed hands. The author's opinion about this point of view may be revealed in the unusual vocabulary word "proleptic" [the assigning of a person, event, etc., to a period earlier than the actual one] which appears several times in the text. The basic theme of the book, aside from how the woman adjusts to having a handicapped child, is differing perceptions of the passage of time.

Aug 17, 2013
  • becker rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This story is about the social conscience and moral compass of a generaton. It covers big topics like art, medicine, relationships, education and mental health. It is well paced and the writing is good (perhaps not to my liking but still very good). However I had some major issues with it.The storyline was constantly going off on tangents. I also felt very detached to the characters. I was an observer but I never felt conncected to any of the characters at any point. I was confused by the role of the narrator. She would be telling the story objectively as a 3rd party and then suddently make a personel comment about her role in a particular scene. It was disorienting. Overall this book was an interresting snapshot of a moment in time but I can't say I really enjoyed the experience.


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app04 Version ofelia Last updated 2015/03/23 12:01