Bucket's Reviews > The Grass is Singing

The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2164930
's review
Aug 13, 12

bookshelves: 1001-read-all-editions, classic, culture, diversity, life-and-death, literary, nobel, psychology, race, reviewed, tragedy, women, world-lit
Read from August 03 to 12, 2012

I was very excited to read Doris Lessing's first novel, and even more thrilled to find it fantastic. It's not a fun book to read (it's about a woman's psychological disintegration in the context of poverty and white rule in 40s/50s Southern Rhodesia) but it's compact and powerful. Lessing demonstrates right from the start of her career her amazing talent for intense prose that is thought-provoking and cuts like a knife.

I was really impressed by the way Lessing weaves social criticism of race relations and social expectations (i.e. women marry and bear children) at the time into a deeply psychological narrative. Both Mary and Dick are sympathetic characters, and both are frought with ugly flaws especially, but not only, when it comes to race relations. Both Mary and Dick completely fall apart over the course of the novel - Dick becomes nervous, frustrated and miserable, which doesn't help his inability to complete anything he starts. Mary becomes a mere shell of herself - spending hours staring at the wall in a deep depression.

The Grass is Singing is a closely attuned depiction of the destructive power of socially-mandated hatred and expectations.

Themes: race, colonial Africa, farming, poverty, women, psychological disintegration, murder, social stigma
1 like · Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Grass is Singing.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

08/07/2012 page 21
8.0%
show 1 hidden update…

No comments have been added yet.