Karen's Reviews > The Sweet Shop Owner

The Sweet Shop Owner by Graham Swift
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's review
Oct 24, 07

really liked it
Recommended for: anyone, really
Read in October, 2007

As others have said, The Sweet Shop Owner doesn't quite match up to Waterland. But this is Swift's first book, and it set a precedent for his later work. Some of the themes, especially that of history (in the academic and personal senses) shine through, and it's interesting to see how he enlarged upon them later.

Whatever I say about the story will sound trite. It's about a man married to a much wealthier woman, the disease she refuses to treat, and their daughter, who feels repulsed by both of her parents to some degree. The levels of emotion in this story are complex and sometimes inexplicable, but that's life. The more I think about the book, the more I think that Swift has captured the life of a real, broken family more masterfully than any other author I've read.
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