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Life and Death of Harriett Frean (20th Century Rediscoveries) [Kindle Edition]

May Sinclair , Francine Prose
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $4.00 (57%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“In a few short pages,” writes Francine Prose in her Introduction, “May Sinclair succeeds in rendering the oppressive weight and strength of the chains of family love.” Young Harriett Frean is taught that “behaving beautifully” is paramount, and she becomes a self-sacrificing woman whose choices prove devastating to herself and to those who love her most. An early pioneer of
stream-of-consciousness writing, Sinclair employs the technique brilliantly in this finely crafted psychological novel. Evoking the style and depth of her contemporaries Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence, Sinclair’s haunting narrative also reflects her keen interest in the theories of Jung and Freud. The text of this Modern Library 20th Century Rediscovery was set from the first American edition of 1922.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A little masterpiece.” —New Statesman


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

?In a few short pages,? writes Francine Prose in her Introduction, ?May Sinclair succeeds in rendering the oppressive weight and strength of the chains of family love.? Young Harriett Frean is taught that ?behaving beautifully? is paramount, and she becomes a self-sacrificing woman whose choices prove devastating to herself and to those who love her most. An early pioneer of
stream-of-consciousness writing, Sinclair employs the technique brilliantly in this finely crafted psychological novel. Evoking the style and depth of her contemporaries Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence, Sinclair?s haunting narrative also reflects her keen interest in the theories of Jung and Freud. The text of this Modern Library 20th Century Rediscovery was set from the first American edition of 1922.

Product Details

  • File Size: 184 KB
  • Print Length: 138 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1117531589
  • Publisher: Modern Library (January 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FGMQUM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,594,253 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
(4)
3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Strange Little Story December 7, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am currently interested in reading books written during the turn of the century. This is why I was led to this little book. It is small enough that I read it in one sitting.

It was a strange, sad tale, and I had to keep reminding myself of the time period in which this piece was written so I could view the writing from another vantage point. It helped to read the introduction to set the mood for this book, plus it helped to better understand the background of the time period.

I did enjoy Sinclair's character descriptions; they were so thorough that the reader could conjure a mental image of the person. If you like period pieces, this one certainly portrays the constrained life of a woman of the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusingly ordinary August 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The title says it all...The story started when Harriett Frean was a baby and her mother cooed over her, reciting a nursery rhyme. It ended when she was dying at the age of sixty-eight, while she listened to the same nursery rhyme from somewhere at the back of her head, and her last words were "Mamma". If the author had made the title "The Life and Death of Spinster Harriett Frean", then there's nothing more to say in this review.

Harriett was an old maid; otherwise, hers was a very ordinary life. It's amusing that a story can be woven out of something ordinary; it's even part of Project Gutenberg! Probably, it was really the author's idea to write a story about the ordinary life of an "almost recluse". Somehow it has to be told; somehow the world has to know that there are many Harriett Freans out there.

In her life story, one thing stands out: Harriett never wanted to disappoint. When she was a little girl, she vowed to always obey her parents because she saw firsthand how disappointed they can be when she disobeyed. As a woman, she chose to let go of the man she loved to protect her best friend. But her desire to please did not always end in a happy note, as one of the characters bluntly pointed out to her. In the end, she was all alone.

We have a lot of old maids in our family. I have an old aunt who lives with her cats. She has opened her house to boarders so technically, she doesn't live alone. But boarders come and go, so she really does not have deep relationships with anyone in her household. This story made me think about her, and if there's anything good that came out of it, it's my renewed vow to not forget to keep in touch with her.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pitiful, lonely life December 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An easy read but left me wanting more from the lead character. I don't care for weak characters who don't have an opportunity to redeem themselves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good October 13, 2013
By Kim
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love books written long ago and this one did not fail to please. It is well written and is an interesting look at an unmarried woman 100 or so years ago.
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