THE SANDCASTLE by Iris Murdoch


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Miss Murdoch's new novel, her third, is superficially different from her earlier ones, but the complicated symbolism and sombre high-jinks that her admirers have come to expect are still to be found. Bill Mor, a housemaster and teacher at St. Bride's School, and his wife, Nan, have been married twenty years, have two teen-age children, Don and Felicity, and have grown out of love and even sympathy because of Nan's bullying strength and Mor's inability to cope with it. Rain Carter, a rather elfin artist appears on the scene, Mor falls in love with her, plans to leave his wife but finally does not. This fairly straightforward plot (at least for this author) is complicated by Mor's children-Felicity believes she is psychic and a witch and Don is in rebellion against the career his family has chosen for him. And the various school rivalries, the discussions of art and politics are wonderfully handled... The increased importance of plot and perhaps a greater involvement of the reader emotionally in the action may well introduce Miss Murdoch to a larger audience, but the things that make her an interesting and exciting writer are still as fundamentally difficult as in the earlier books.

Pub Date: May 7th, 1957
ISBN: 0140014748
Publisher: Viking