THE HABIT OF LOVING by Doris Lessing

THE HABIT OF LOVING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of short stories, always able and sometimes notable, range from England to Africa to the continent, from lighter sketches to soberer commentaries on beaten, broken lives, and are distinguished by their quietly perspicacious view of human existence and experience. For those who remember her The Grass Is Singing (1950) there are several, desolate South African scenes: a woman maintains her gracious notions on an isolated South African farm but submits to the coarsest relationship possible with an itinerant insurance salesman; subdued, apologetic Mrs. Slatter holds as her only hope- in her life with a brutal, unfaithful husband- the fact she may grow old quickly; a young girl, running away from home, will walk the streets willingly rather than return. The title story concerns the sad dependence of an aging man- once successful with women- and professionally prominent- on a younger woman; there is the defective boy whose only lien to the world in which he lives is the body of his mother; and there's a sinister, searching story of the aftermath of the war- as two young English doctors try to find the congenial, sentimental Germany of the past in her present and see only the lingering stigmata of Naziism..... An audience- while deserved- may be difficult to assure.
Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1957
ISBN: 0445083905
Page count: 317pp
Publisher: T.Y. Crowell
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1958




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