Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Finds- Two for Review, from a Great Small Press

Awhile back I did a Publishers Spotlight series on the Dalkey Archive Press; afterward, I was approached by several small presses interested in doing a similar series on the blog. One of them, Capuchin Classics, sent me a couple of books to read and review to prepare for just such a series. They arrived from England this week! They are

The Man Who Loved Children, by Christina Stead. From Capuchin's website:
Henrietta, privileged and sheltered, expected a smoothly comfortable society life in Washington when she married Sam Pollitt, a handsome self-made biologist.
Ten years later, Henny is a skinny, screaming drudge with five children, a raging wreck of a woman driven by ‘hate, horror, passion or contempt.’ But Sam, whose impractical idealism has brought his family to near-ruin, is unchanged: still at sea in all adult affairs, an absurd hypocritical buffoon but a genius with children … except Louie, his eldest daughter, an ugly brilliant adolescent who is forced to take a drastic, final step to save herself and the children from lasting tragedy.
The Man Who Loved Children is an astonishing account of the decline of an American bourgeois family. Intimate, accurate and savagely funny, it is also unforgettably moving. 
It just sounded really good to me!

The next book is When I Was Otherwise, by Stephen Benatar. I loved Benatar's book Wish Her Safe at Home, (the link is to my review) so I couldn't resist requesting this one. Capuchin says:
This novel opens with a macabre impact, as a newspaper report describes the discovery of two dead women - one of them a skeleton- in a North London house. The women are revealed to be the sister and sister-in-law of the man who shared the house. The story of these characters' lives is told through a blend of powerful characterization and social satire, and summons the mingled tragedy and humor of old age to powerful effect. 
Sounds great!

What did you get this week? More Friday Finds at ShouldbeReading.wordpress.com.