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Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived Paperback – March 31, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In the book there is a wonderful theme of how we think of the past, and what the past means to us. There is also more than a glimpse into the lifestyles of 20th century British colonial elite. As a child, Lively could straddle different realms, different cultures, and this is the fascinating heart of the book.
She grew up with ruling class privilege in British-occupied Egypt, and yet she had a child's access to local village life. She had a devoted governess, but the grown Penelope realizes how little they shared of each other. There are many fascinating parallels of home and country, such as the weight of a distant, somewhat cold mother/land.
Nowadays, there's a lot written about the phenomenon of the Third Culture Kid. Usually, and to speak very simplistically, this refers to American kids who grow up overseas and cannot feel any true attachment to the US, but who are not visibly connected to the land where they spent so much of their childhood. In the worst scenario, these people can end up with severe feelings of rootlessness, and with a sense of never quite belonging. Lively beautifully and sensitively writes of this lack of connection.
Aside from Oleander, Jacaranda being a wonderful story of returning, it is a comforting read for those who are affected by Third Culture Phenomena. I urge ALL EXPATRIATE parents to obtain and read this book! My third culture daughter read it at age 15, and I would recommend it to others in her age group and cultural situation.
Also great by Penelope Lively: Moon Tiger (Fiction).
I love this book and the memories passed on from Lively through to me are treasures to read!
I'd give this a six if it were possible!-PKane
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this is one of my favorite books I have given it to many friendsPublished 18 months ago by Judy Joy