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The Love Child (Virago Modern Classics) by…

The Love Child (Virago Modern Classics) (original 1927; edition 1981)

by Edith Olivier

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691173,491 (4.07)36
Title:The Love Child (Virago Modern Classics)
Authors:Edith Olivier
Info:Virago Press Ltd (1981), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 216 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, 20th century, women, Britain, Virago, VMC

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The love-child by Edith Olivier (1927)


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As The Love-Child opens, we see Agatha, a 32 year old spinster, burying her mother. Her life that always was empty and bereft of companionship is now even more so. To console herself, Agatha raises from the dead of her childhood her imaginary friend, Clarissa. All is well and good with Agatha's make-believe world that she shares with Clarissa until something goes terribly wrong--other people start to be able to see Clarissa too.

This is a confounding situation for Agatha indeed, and one which she handles with aplomb. The girl who was once her imaginary friend is now, scandalously, introduced to the world as her love child. Like other children, Clarissa grows up, and much to Agatha's satisfaction. Agatha's fantasy sours, however, when a young man falls in love with her. Here is where the book really displays its brilliance because it is forced to answer a difficult question--whose fantasy shall Clarissa ultimately be, Agatha's or her suitor's?

The issue of fantasy ownership within the novel is not to be underestimated given this novel's short length and pithy prose. It very delicately balances notions of incest, lesbianism, feminism, and heterosexual prerogative with surprising results.

A highly recommended read. ( )
5 vote mambo_taxi | Nov 4, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Edith Olivierprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cecil, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, HermioneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Agatha Bodenham had unconsciously moved a pace or two from the others, and she stood, isolated, near the head of her mother's grave while the clergyman finished the service.
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At thirty-two, her mother dead, Agatha Bodenham finds herself quite alone. She summons back to life the only friend she ever knew, Clarissa, the dream companion of her childhood. At first Clarissa comes by night, and then by day, gathering substance in the warmth of Agatha's obsessive love until it seems that others too can see her. See, but not touch, for Agatha has made her love child for herself alone. No man may approach her elfin creation of perfect beauty. If he does, the love which summoned her can spirit her away...
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