The Home Girls

Olga Masters, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-02853-9
Realistic details of poverty and family life in rural Australia animate this collection of 20 concise, direct and often ironic short stories by the late, prize-winning author of Amy's Children. Appearance, clothing and such actions as leaving the breakfast dishes unwashed, stepping on a child in a doorway or kicking the dog reveal the emotional states of characters and the dynamics of family relationships. Masters's focus is often on children, who narrate many of these tales: the control they wield over events in the title story and ``Leaving Home''; their subordination to their parents' needs, seen in ``The Snake and Bad Tom''; their capacity to share parents' traits, as in ``The Sea on Sunday,'' or act as foils to adults, as in ``On the Train.'' In Masters's view, marriage is a fantasy unfulfilled (``A Young Man's Fancy'') or a trade-off (``The Done Thing''), with the children essential as observers, go-betweens and the reasons for carrying on. This collection, originally published in Australia in 1983, speaks in no uncertain terms of the difficulties of women's and children's lives. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Hardcover - 194 pages - 978-0-7022-1811-8
Hardcover - 194 pages - 978-0-7022-1821-7
Hardcover - 978-0-947072-85-8
Paperback - 978-1-86340-114-2
Paperback - 295 pages - 978-1-922079-46-6
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-921961-74-8
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