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4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601121695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601121691
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 12.4 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modernism at it's best 23 May 2002
By A Customer
I read this novel as part of a course studying Modernism, and for me it was the most accessible, the most enjoyable and the deepest text I had to read.
It's superficially simplistic. The language is simple and the print large. It almost looks like a child's book - but that is the point. The question we're left with at the end is whether Harriett Frean remains much the same age at death as when she was born.
Short, sprightly-paced, I can see myself picking this up and reading it again if I have a morning to spare. I knew the outcome was inevitable the first time through, but it didn't cease to be powerful and almost tragic. Whilst one of the things we are encouraged to think about by the author is whether Harriett chooses this life of unfulfilment or whether she couldn't have it any other way, it doesn't stop you feeling for her.
In many ways, Harriett reflects part of our character which we like to think represents us at our best, making sacrifices for others. If it were not so sad, this novel would be satire. I think we can all sympathise with Harriett's plight in places, and learn from it what can happen if we make the same mistakes.
Never didactic, The Life and Death of Harriett Frean is a novel which, whilst written as an elegy for unemancipated women, can now be applied to anybody who wastes their lives thinking of everybody but themselves.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pioneer in Modernist literature 15 April 2009
May Sinclair is, sadly, not a well-known name in the literary world today, but in her time she was a household name. Having coined the phrase "stream of consciousness" writing herself, the book centres around the character of the eponymous Harriet Frean. Although short, the book details the entirety of the character's life, with Harriet's main aim being to "behave beautifully", as her mother would have wanted.

The novel leaves one questioning how much of our own happiness are we willing to sacrifice in order to stay within the boundaries of the "social norm".

This is a great book, tinged greatly by the overwhelming sadness that seems to follow the protagonist around. Even when the inevitable happens at the end of the novel we still sympathise with Harriet right up to the very end. This book proves that the Modernists certainly did not sacrifice characterisation in order to develop their own Modernist style.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 25 Jan 2010
This book is a very accesible read. It is short and simply fantastic - read in one sitting to experience the intensity and you'll be left amazed at what you have just read. Simply one of the best reading experiences I have ever had!
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