The Bradshaw Variations

Rachel Cusk, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $25 (234p) ISBN 978-0-374-10081-0

The Bradshaw family of suburban London is discontent. Thomas Bradshaw has taken a sabbatical from his job to learn to play the piano; his wife, Tonie, has become head of a university English department; their eight-year-old daughter, Alexa, watches as father and mother begin to suffocate under the failure of their expectations. The Bradshaws' brothers, sisters, parents, and in-laws, though sometimes faintly amusing, are no better off. Sister-in-law Claudia, a painter, never paints, blaming her nonproductivity on husband Howard, Thomas's older brother. Little brother Leo and his uneducated wife, Susie, drink too much—public knowledge because their children tattle on them—and the older generation of parents disapproves of them all. Cusk (Arlington Park ) dissects her characters with a surgical precision, and all can be diagnosed with the same bourgeois malady: acute but indeterminate angst about the nature of existence. Cusk is a gifted writer who has a knack for razor-sharp characterizations, but the lack of plot—everyone is sad, little is done—is a serious detriment. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 03/01/2010
Show other formats
FORMATS
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-4074-5282-1
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-312-68067-1
Hardcover - 249 pages - 978-0-571-23358-8
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4299-3177-9
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.