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Woolworth Madonna by Elizabeth Troop

Woolworth Madonna (1976)

by Elizabeth Troop

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If she chucked herself into that brown river..all that would happen would be a line or two in the local rag"
By sally tarbox on 28 January 2018
Format: Hardcover
Published in 1976, this short (107p) novel follows a nameless London wife and mother-of-three; with a rough and ready husband, and three demanding offspring - a critical pre-reen, a baby in nappies and a middle one with learning difficulties - the mother retreats into a world of anti-depressants and dreams; classical music and art, so far removed from her dingy, cash-strapped life in a condemned house, as the family await their move to a high-rise...

And then into their life comes Edward, a journalist from a privileged background, who sees them as material for his writing. While the sections on the mother are related in the 3rd person, we glimpse Edward's true thoughts in the snippets of his journals whiich intercut the text - a combination of pity, affection, exasperation and desire...

Conjures up a time and a place quite vividly; and the helpless, hopeless feelings of someone stuck in a world she doesn't like. ( )
1 vote starbox | Jan 28, 2018 |
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The dog washed his parts under the bed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the story of a woman - working-class, a loving mother, a not-so-loving wife.
Elizabeth Troop's heroine is more than that, though. Faced with the demolition of her house, the slow sliding of hopes and dreams into middle-age, the onset of high-rise living and flabby flesh, she remains still a force to be reckoned with - a force than is truly and unbeatably feminine and unforgettable.
"I couldn't fault her book." - Auberon Waugh in the EVENING STANDARD

"An outstanding first novel" - Martin Goff in THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

"Her nameless working-class heroine, beleaguered with children and dim husband in a south London house condemned by planning, is so much an individual, fully and lovingly realized, that she outstrips entirely her stereotype." - Janice Elliot in the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

"A rare discovery" - NEW STATESMAN
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