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A Summer Bird-cage

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  585 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Sarah had come home from Paris to be a bridesmaid for her sister Louise. When a child, Sarah had adored her elder sister, but Louise had grown up to be an arrogant, selfish, cold and extravagant woman. She was also breath-takingly beautiful. The man she was to marry, Stephen Halifax, was a successful novelist, very rich and snobbishly unpleasant. From Sarah's first night a ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 1st 1985 by Plume (first published 1963)
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Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-white-square
C'mon girls! Do you believe in love? Cos Margaret's got something to say about it. And it goes something like this...

...don't marry heartless homosexual sadists for their money. Marry warm heterosexual actors who are kind to children.

(Also, be less of a bitch to your sister).

That's about it.
One of the pleasures of the 1962 list in My Big Fat Reading Project has been reading first novels by authors I have always wanted to read or authors whose later novels I have read.

Examples: Cover Her Face by P D James, In Evil Hour by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Letting Go by Philip Roth, Love and Friendship by Alison Lurie.

Margaret Drabble is the sister of A S Byatt. In the usual way of the media, much has been made over the years about their sibling rivalry. Actually both women have been outspoke
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now, this is a period piece. Two middle-class sisters, Sarah and Louise, three years apart, in the early '60s after graduating ("coming down") from Oxford, are finding their ways in the world. This is told from younger Sarah's point of view. She's an intelligent, wry, bookish, romantic girl who's always taken second place to the more beautiful Louise. Neither one is close to the other, nor to her parents really. Louise marries a rich, boring, successful author, brings Sarah home from Paris to En ...more
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drabble knows how to write about the complexity of sisterly love.
You don't always like the people you love.
So much truth, so much wit.
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Summer Bird-Cage by Margaret Drabble is a book with a hyphen in the title. This is apposite, since it presents a tale of two sisters, Louise and Sarah who, in a short but intense period of their lives, realise that there is an enduring bond between them, even if that bond may be no more than an agreement to compete.

Louise and Sarah have both been to Oxford. Louise is three years older than Sarah, who estimates that her sister is thus also three inches taller than herself. They are both beautif
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read this on the back of Drabble's reputation and the fact I love A S Byatt's work. I was curious whether two sibling writers could inspire me equally. Well I was disappointed. Far from being a "sparkling" debut novel, as the jacket blurb promised, I found this as dry as toast.
In Byatt's Frederica Potter #3 novel we find her eponymous hero pondering over the fact that "young ladies just down from Oxford, ought not to write novels about young ladies just down from Oxford" and on reading A Summ
Mm... mi è difficile commentare questo libro sapendo che l'autrice e la sorella (che poi è una delle mie autrici preferite, Antonia S. Byatt) sono in faida da circa mezzo secolo. E questo è un romanzo - tra le altre cose - su un complesso rapporto tra sorelle. È impossibile non pensare che ci sia dell'ispirazione autobiografica dietro questo libro... Magari sbagliando, eppure il pensiero rimane lì, in sottofondo, a disturbare la lettura. È un romanzo ben scritto e molto realistico nel descrivere ...more
Jenny Yates
This is Drabble’s first novel, written in the 60s, and she’s already a commanding writer. This one is narrated by Sarah, a British woman in her early 20s, with a fresh degree from Oxford in hand, who simply does not know what to do with herself. She knows a few things she doesn’t like (such as trains), a few things she likes (channel crossings, cars), and what everybody else thinks about everything. But she has no sense of the shape her own life might take now.

Complicating things is the fact th
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"dilemma" of women graduate from college

اسلوبها بسيط وكوميدى جداا بس برغم ان المشكلة اللى بتتكلم عنها منتشرة فى مجتمعنا جدا وهيا صعوبة ان الست تبقى ناجحة فى بيتها وعملها وانها لازم تختار بس الصراحة انا نفسى زى سارة "T want to have my cake and eat it "

شخصية سارة فيها نقاط سلبية كتيير طول الرواية بنشوف الشخصيات من وجهة نظرها المنتقدة لكل اللى حواليها نقد لازع ومستفز ف بعض الاحيان
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Dame Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield in 1939 and was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the author of eighteen novels including A Summer Bird-Cage, The Millstone, The Peppered Moth, The Red Queen, The Sea Lady and most recently, the highly acclaimed The Pure Gold Baby. She has also written biographies, screenplays and was the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature. ...more
More about Margaret Drabble...