Thursday, January 28, 2021

Ten top books about children fending for themselves

Una Mannion’s debut novel is A Crooked Tree.

At the Guardian she tagged ten books in which "the dramatic force of the children portrayed is not their weakness but their strength, their ability to resist and sometimes to forgive." One title on the list:
My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

“We were oddities, our family, even in that tiny rural town of Amgash,” says Lucy, reminiscing about her childhood during which her family lived in a garage until she was 11. They were set apart not just because they were poor but by an emotional poverty with parents unable to express affection and who routinely neglected and humiliated the children. They are locked in the truck while the parents work. Her brother is humiliated by the father on the town’s main street. Despite this difficult and lonely childhood, shadowed by ill-treatment and the suggestion of abuse, years later when she is sick on her hospital bed: “It was the sound of my mother’s voice I most wanted.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

My Name Is Lucy Barton is among Hannah Beckerman's top ten toxic families in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue