As the summer begins, Kate Brown -- attractive, intelligent, forty five, happily enough married, with a house in the London suburbs and three grown children -- has no reason to expect anything will change. But when the summer ends, the woman she was -- living behind a protective camouflage of feminine charm and caring -- no longer exists. This novel. Doris Lessing's brilliant excursion into the terrifying stretch of time between youth and old age, is her journey: from London to Turkey to Spain, from husband to lover to madness: on the road to a frightening new independence and a confrontation with self that lets her, finally, come truly of age.
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|Title of History eBook: The Summer Before the Dark|
|Release Date: 11-17-2010|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Summer Before...|
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The Summer Before the Dark
A woman stood on her back step, arms folded, waiting.
Thinking? She would not have said so. She was trying to catch hold of something, or to lay it bare so that she could look and define; for some time now she had been "trying on" ideas like so many dresses off a rack. She was letting words and phrases as worn as nursery rhymes slide around her tongue: for towards the crucial experiences custom allots certain attitudes, and they are pretty stereotyped. Ah yes, first love! . . . Growing up is bound to be painful! . . . My first child, you know. . . But I was in love! . . . Marriage is a compromise. . . . I am not as young as I once was. Of course, the choice of one rather than another of these time-honoured phrases has seldom to do with a personal feeling, but more likely your social setting, or the people you are with on an occasion. You have to deduce a person's real feelings about a thing by a smile she does not know is on her face, by the way bitterness tightens muscles at a mouth's corner, or the way air is allowed to flow from the lungs after: I wouldn't like to be a child again! Such power do these phrases have, all issued for use as it might be by a particularly efficient advertising campaign, that it is probable many people go on repeating Youth is the best time of your life or Love is a woman's whole existence until they actually catch sight of themselves in a mirror while they are saying something of the kind, or are quick enough to catch the reaction on a friend's face.
A woman stood on her back doorstep, arms folded, waiting for a kettle to boil.
There had been power cuts most of the day, because of a strike. Tim, her youngest, and Eileen, her daughter, had...