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There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her…
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There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back… (edition 2014)

by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (Author), Anna Summers (Translator)

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884209,744 (3.71)7
"The masterly novellas that established Ludmilla Petrushevskaya as one of the greatest living Russian writers . After her work was suppressed for many years, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya won wide recognition for capturing the experiences of everyday Russians with profound pathos and mordant wit. Among her most famous and controversial works, these three novellas-The Time Is Night, Chocolates with Liqueur, and Among Friends-are modern classics that breathe new life into Tolstoy's famous dictum, "All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Together they confirm the genius of an author with a gift for turning adversity into art"--… (more)
Member:malinablue
Title:There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In: Three Novellas About Family
Authors:Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (Author)
Other authors:Anna Summers (Translator)
Info:Penguin Books (2014), Edition: Reprint, 208 pages
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There once lived a mother who loved her children, until they moved back in: three novellas about family by Lyudmila Petrushevskaya

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Showing 4 of 4
Astonishingly good. I have not read this kind of hard-driving, breathlessly honest, humorous-and-terrible-all-at-once prose since Celine (Death on the Installment Plan). The title story is the star, but I enjoyed the whole book. About people making do with what they have, hurting each other, loving each other as best they can, sometimes failing to love each other...and surviving. Keep writing, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, and I will keep reading. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
Could not get into it. Not that it wasn't well-written, but spending time with these women in their awful lives was more than I could do
  revliz | Nov 17, 2015 |
"Forgive my tears", 23 June 2015

This review is from: There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In: Three Novellas About Family (Paperback)
My favourite of these three tales of the awfulness of Russian family life was the first (the longest at 110 p) - 'The Time is Night'. Narrated by a harried 50 year old single mother, she tells of her problematic son, newly released from jail and demanding money for drink; her daughter, three times pregnant by different men, and who has dumped her eldest son, Tima, on her mother - an added expense and worry, yet a joy too:

"My love. It's a physical pleasure for me to hold his weightless little arm, to gaze into his round blue eyes, with eyelashes so long that even when he sleeps they cast shadows like enormous fans. All parents, and especially grandparents, love little children with a physical, sinful love."

Her difficult life, scraping by, barely able to feed them, is exacerbated when her aged mother, senile and in hospital, is ordered to be sent to an insane asylum, thus curtailing the pension they rely on to live...
Very movingly written in a style all her own, showing human feeling in a very harsh world. ( )
  starbox | Jun 22, 2015 |
I just can't get into this book. I'd rather stand in a cold war era Russian bread line than pick it back up. ( )
  MsNick | Nov 28, 2014 |
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A woman called me—a stranger.
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