Bridget's Reviews > Crusoe's Daughter

Crusoe's Daughter by Jane Gardam
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's review
Jun 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-reads
Read from August 28 to September 01, 2012

This is the story of Polly Flint, a young girl whose mother is dead, and whose father - a sea captain - leaves her in "The Yellow House" with two aunts, older sisters of her mother. They live in a marshy area of England, and the house is somewhat remote from the nearby town. Polly ends up spending the entire book except for a small amount of time in this house, and lives an extremely sheltered and lonely life. Her one "friend" - Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe - a book she read as a young girl, and which gets her through her life.

This book is an interesting slice of life in England starting shortly before the first World War, and ending after the second. Though many changes take place, Polly's life remains somewhat the same, and things that others would take for granted often surprise or puzzle her.

I liked this book, though it was somewhat sad. Well, sad for the reader - Polly seems to accept her lot in life, and though she is not an overly active character in the sense of traveling the world, and having new experiences, she leads an active life of the mind. She clings to Robinson Crusoe as if he is flesh and blood, the one constant in her life. From what I read in the preface, this book is the author's favorite, and is loosely inspired by the years growing up that her own mother told her about. It is a very well-written book, and in some ways fascinating. In other ways, though, it makes you realize how many womens' lives probably were in this time and place, when women were perhaps schoolteachers, but certainly wives and mothers.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I liked this book quite a bit. I did spend a lot of time wishing Polly would *react* to her situation, but then again, that is likely because I was looking at it from the outside, whereas she was experiencing it.
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10/30/2016 marked as: read

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