Absent in the Spring Hardcover – 1 May 1973
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|Hardcover, 1 May 1973||
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'I've not been so emotionally moved by a story since the memorable Brief Encounter… Absent in the Spring is a tour de force which should be recognized as a classic.' New York Times
'Very readable indeed.' Times Literary Supplement--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Agatha Christie is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime for her 80 ingenious crime books and her plays. Writing anonymously as Mary Westmacott, she also wrote about crimes of the heart, a series of six bittersweet novels with a jagged edge, as compelling and memorable as the best of her work.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The central character of this story is a person (usually female) who has appeared several times in the author's detective stories, almost always in the role of the victim: the complete egoist. She is not consciously selfish or intentionally cruel, but so completely self centered, that all her thoughts, actions and feelings refuse to allow any other point of view than her own. She lives in a world where she is the center of the universe and other people are as two-dimensional and no more real than fictional characters. Usually, she goes though life oblivious of other people's nature and feelings, causing harm to them, because she loves herself too much and them not enough to make the effort of seeing them as they really are. In this book, she suffers an epiphany and comes face to face with her true self as well as the reality of her life; the resolution is somewhat surprising, but when it happens it feels inevitable.
The only reservation I have, in this as in other books by Westmacott, is the religious element. There is a "St.Paul on the way to Damascus"-type revelation that might jar readers' religious feelings, but it can be easily overcome, as it is neither an attempt to convert or offensive in any way.
Joan Scudamore is a middle-class wife and mother of three grown-up children, secure in both of these roles. Her material circumstances in a provincial town are respectable, affluent and secure as any housewife’s at that time. Joan is, though, on her way home from a visit to Iraq where her daughter lives with her husband but has been unwell. She reaches the Turkish border by car but the train to Istanbul, with connections on to England, is delayed and she is obliged to remain in a railway rest-house for some days. With no unread books and other pursuits to hand, she is obliged to reflect on her relationships, her education and her own personality. She comes to recognise the lies she has been living and, while she wouldn’t have used the term, she confronts her multiple repressions; in effect, she meets herself and hates what she sees.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not anything like the books that Christie is known and admired for. I was curious to know how she wrote as 'Mary Westmacott' but I won't bother again.Published 1 month ago by astronomer
Another very good read, although i had a feeling towards the end when she reverted to type that i wanted to shake her and tell her to really think of her husband and children!Published 10 months ago by rick kingwell
Pulls you in from Page One. Quite different from the crime novelsPublished 13 months ago by Mrs. J. I. Jenkins
Excellent book, excellent service, delivered promptly, recommend 100%.Published on 30 Jun. 2014 by Tiggywinkle1
I read this book in two sittings as I was keen to know how it would end. Although quite dated the story still has relevance today.Published on 25 Jun. 2014 by Ann K Biggins
It was a good read. May be a bit old fashioned but the gripping, unmistakable Agatha Christie style made up for it. Read morePublished on 31 Dec. 2013 by Ilze Druka
Very well written - couldn't put this book down - very interesting story.
Set in a time when appearances/ behaiour and success were the driving force