Raymond Nickford's Reviews > Edith's Diary

Edith's Diary by Patricia Highsmith
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

it was amazing
Read from January 13 to 17, 2012

At times the frequency of marriages wrecked or floundering on the rocks seems to make divorce so commonplace that we might become numbed to the hurt and desolation that can really follow, particularly for the more vulnerable of the duo.
When Edith is abandoned by her career-obsessed husband, Brett, to be left with her totally unstable and alcoholic son, Cliffie, and her demanding/virtually incontinent 'Uncle-in-law', George, she still strives to keep hope in her life by writing for magazines and numbing her sensibility on the domestic routine.
The diary of her almost deified version of Cliffie; the fantasy and delusion with which she daily tries to lie to herself about the degeneration of her son, the real Cliffie, is as poignant - because truly observed - as anything I have read in Highsmith, a writer for whom I've always had the greatest admiration.

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message 1: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan The book is threaded through with the commonplace casual cruelty of other "normal" people towards Edith, with the exception of Aunt Melanie and Cliffie's defence of his mother at the end. A masterful and merciless depiction of a suburban community (happens to be America but could be anywhere) by Highsmith

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