Persephone Books discussion

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message 1: by Beth (new)

Beth (bethfloreyyahoocom) | 13 comments I agree that the comments are terrible, and also shocking when you read them. It seems to out of place, and out of the blue when you come across a comment like that.

Thank goodness we live in a time when anti-Semitism is NOT okay.

message 2: by Gina (new)

Gina | 319 comments Mod
Just finished the book...and I'm not sure what to think about it!
On one hand, I thought it was hilarous--all of the satirical elements such as Martha's political leanings, her relationships (including the man who entered a suicide pact with his dance teacher), and her adventures at school.
On the other hand, it was very difficult to look past the racism! It seemed like anyone who wasn't a full-blooded British person was open to that kind of harassment--Jewish people (the word "Jewess" seems so outdated and one would ever dream of using that word today), Indian people, Americans, and Czechs--although it does seem like a lot of that racism was used in a satirical manner.
I also found Martha to be very shallow and passive. She never did anything to actively follow her path. She went to Oxford because it had always been expected of her, due to her intelligence. She went out with a few different men and went along with whatever they wanted to do, and she went to Czechoslovakia because her mother found her a position there.
I feel like I missed out on a lot of the jokes because I didn't live in England at that time.
I think it's funny that the last 3 books we've read have been about young girls growing up. Maybe Little Boy Lost will be a change of pace?

message 3: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (leaningsun) | 27 comments I've only read a handful of Persephone reprints but all of those contained some form of anti-semitism, racism, and sexism. We could attribute it to the times of course, however, the best part about being able to read these works now is that we can see these ridiculous sentiments and discuss them.

Gina, like you I wasn't quite sure what to make of the book either. Martha was an interesting character, possibly smarter than she let on. I hadn't thought of Martha as passive before, I saw her as maybe interested in too many things, so much so that she couldn't pick one movement to follow, maybe in need of direction or a role model but maybe simply passive.
If anyone is interested I blogged about Making Conversation here http://leaningtowardthesun.wordpress....

I always love stories about adolescent girls but I think Little Boy Lost looks promising.

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