2012: 36. The Girls of Slender Means

"Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions."

The Girls of Slender Means, Muriel Spark

      Read this as part of my Spark binge, and it was probably my favorite of the three.  It is set at the end of Second World War, in the May of Teck Club, a club that provides a home for respectable single young girls to live together in London.  The characters (well, the women) all live in the home, and we follow them along their lives, as they aimlessly drift towards some large foretold event (this is the kind of book where there are hints of things to come, and a little jumping back and forth in time until we get to WHAT HAPPENED).  It's a funny book, in that there was no individual character that really spoke to me - rather, it seemed that the book was about the collective girls, and how what happened shaped them all.  What I've written makes this sound like an unbearably literary experiment type of book, but, the reason I really liked was, to the contrary, Spark managed to tell this different type of story under the cover of a normal book.  What I mean is, I just read it, and wasn't distracted by what she was doing - I just enjoyed it, and at the end, as I thought about it (and wrote this), I saw what she did.  It's interesting enough to read about girls trying to make their lives as the war comes to an end, and trying to figure out what kind of women they'll be, plus trying to figure out what is GOING TO HAPPEN.  To realize at the end that it's really a story about a collective of women - a generation, really, is just a bonus.

Categories:  Fiction, Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017