Thirtysomething mother of three Lizzie Burns is trying to perform a delicate juggling act in author Maggie Graham's Sitting Among the Eskimos
. Lizzie is a mature student with her third year exams looming, desperately trying to satisfy her appetite for learning while coping with the pressures of her home and her husband Colin.
I cant find any paper to write my list on. A bloody student with no paper. Christ, youre neither use nor ornament Lizzie. Right. Lists. I dont know where to start. I should be writing an essay, or a poem, or a novel. How many women have written endless lists instead of masterpieces?
Having married early in a community that is mystified by her need to return to education, she finds it difficult to justify herself and explain her need for something more, not least to herself. As the academic year progresses and her relationship with her husband deteriorates, she needs her wry sense of humour, her strong spirit and all the support from her friends that she can muster. Lizzies story has a genuine feel to it, from the descriptions of daunted "freshers" to her relationship with her elderly father, the use of conversational dialect and the feeling that Graham is drawing on personal experience. The prose however, can sometimes feel like its going round in circles rather than moving the plot forward, but then this itself reflects Lizzies trapped pattern of thinking. Never able to give herself wholly to either her studies or her family, the endless cycle of guilt continues until it looks like Lizzie may never finish at all. This is a bright novel that looks intelligently at the practical side of "having it all". --Rachel Ediss
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Maggie Graham was born and grew up in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire. She left school at fifteen, but later returned to education, going on to read English at Glasgow University. Between 1995 and 1998 she worked as a Writer in Residence at the Big Issue.