Bob's Reviews > What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew by Henry James
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Jun 21, 2009

it was amazing
Read in December, 2008

An only child of divorced parents is passed around among half a dozen adults of varying relationships to her (nannies, parents' new lovers, second spouses), all of whom are unfailingly selfish and incapable of framing her well-being in any terms other than what suits them. Admittedly anyone in the world who claims to be acting in a purely disinterested manner on any occasion is probably not telling the truth but this presents a notably pessimistic view of human nature. Written in 1897, close to James' legendary difficult late period of 1902-4, the prose is not as challenging as The Golden Bowl et al - elegant and lightly ironic.
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