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Mother and Son

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The exacting Miranda's search for a suitable companion brings her family into contact with a very different kind of household, raising a plenitude of questions about the ability to manage alone, the difficulties of living with strangers and some strange discoveries about intimates.
Published February 17th 1994 (first published 1955)
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Best Books of the Decade: 1950's
226th out of 663 books — 894 voters
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alessandra falca
Mar 06, 2015 alessandra falca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- È arrivata quella persona, signora
- Quale persona?
- Quella che doveva venire, signora.
- Venire da chi?
- Da lei, credevo. Era l'idea più naturale.
- E chi sarebbe secondo lei la persona che sto aspettando?
- Se ho capito bene va presa in esame, signora.
- È una risposta alla mia domanda?
- Quella signora è qui, signora. Ha trovato la strada, - disse la cameriera in tono diverso.
- Trovato la strada? Come sarebbe a dire?
- Sul viale che viene dalla stazione, signora, all'ombra di tutti quegli alberi.
'She is not to be mildly liked or disliked. She is a writer to be left alone, or else to be made into an addiction.'
Pamela Hansford Johnson

Ivy Compton-Burnett non è molto nota qui in Italia, ma in Inghilterra è considerata una delle massime scrittrici del Novecento, anche se i più ritengono la sua produzione decisamente ostica. Per lo più è considerata una di quelle autrici di cui innamorarsi oppure da odiare al primo libro (come si può evincere dall'epigrafe). Ovviamente, al mio primo libro l'u
Kate Walker
You have to imagine all the dialogue in a stiffly proper British voice and it works. The book opens much like the beginning of Mary Poppins, with the family interviewing candidates for a domestic position. In this case, the duties of the desired "companion" are never explicitly stated, though it is assumed she would need to be willing to do whatever the exacting, eagle-eyed Mrs. Hume demanded. Superfluous husband and (certainly unhealthily) devoted son look on as Mrs. Hume disposes of the candid ...more
Sep 14, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
“‘Perhaps we are sound at heart. That is said of people who are unusually unpleasant.’
‘Why is it said of them?’
‘Well, they are clearly sound nowhere else, and we cannot see the heart.’”’

“‘There is probably nothing like living together for blinding people to each other,’ said Francis.
‘In the case of Mrs. Pettigrew and myself time has added to our mutual understanding. But I must not adduce my own experience as typical.’
‘Everything adds to understanding,’ said Alice. ‘That is why people seem
Hypocrite Lecteur
Apr 12, 2016 Hypocrite Lecteur rated it liked it
"I do not think humour is ever sound"
Peavey Ignacio
Oct 16, 2014 Peavey Ignacio marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2013 Joanne rated it did not like it
What an odd book. I read it because it because the author was recommended by Hilary Mantel--one can only hope on the basis of some other book she wrote! I will not be exploring Compton-Burnett's work further.
Claire rated it really liked it
May 26, 2016
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Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, DBE was an English novelist, published (in the original hardback editions) as I. Compton-Burnett. She was awarded the 1955 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for her novel Mother and Son.
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