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The Beginning of Spring
     

The Beginning of Spring

3.0 2
by Penelope Fitzgerald
 

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Short-listed for the Booker Prize

“Fitzgerald was the author of several slim, perfect novels. The Blue Flower and The Beginning of Spring both had me abuzz for days the first time I read them. She was curiously perfect.”— Teju Cole, author of Open City

“Writing so precise and lilting it can make you

Overview

Short-listed for the Booker Prize

“Fitzgerald was the author of several slim, perfect novels. The Blue Flower and The Beginning of Spring both had me abuzz for days the first time I read them. She was curiously perfect.”— Teju Cole, author of Open City

“Writing so precise and lilting it can make you shiver.” —
Los Angeles Times

March 1913. Moscow is stirring herself to meet the beginning of spring. English painter Frank Reid returns from work one night to find that his wife has gone away; no one knows where or why, or whether she’ll ever come back. All Frank knows for sure is that he is now alone and must find someone to care for his three young children.

Into Frank’s life comes Lisa Ivanovna, a quiet, calming beauty from the country, untroubled to the point of seeming simple. But is she? And why has Frank’s bookkeeper, Selwyn Crane, gone to such lengths to bring these two together?

This new edition features an introduction by Andrew Miller, author of Pure, along with new cover art.

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
Writing so precise and lilting it can make you shiver.
Emmeline Plunket
The Beginning of Spring,'' is a very good comedy of manners....She and her characters have their own agenda; its priorities are the timelessness of human nature and the possibility of love. She is that refreshing rarity, a writer who is very modern but not the least bit hip. Ms. Fitzgerald looks into the past, both human and literary, and finds all sorts of things that are surprisingly up to date. Yet as The Beginning of Spring' reaches its triumphant conclusion, you realize that its greatest virtue is perhaps the most old-fashioned of all. It is a lovely novel. -- The New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Booker Prize-winner Fitzgerald ( Offshore ; Innocence ) reveals here the depth of a distinct and imaginative talent to amuse. Set in Moscow in the spring of 1913, the story concerns an English household that has fallen apart with the unexpected flight of Nellie Reid, a good and proper wife and heretofore devoted mother of three young children. (Fitzgerald is especially good at very droll children.) Nellie's husband, Frank, must carry on with his family and printing business while holding out hope for her return. A mysterious young woman from the countryside--she may be a dryad--is engaged to care for the children, and the plot, such as it is, takes many unexpected turns. But one doesn't read Fitzgerald for plot structure so much as for her sheer powers of invention: her novel raises more questions than it means to answer. Rich in subtle characterizations, wit and wonderfully textured prose, Fitzgerald's seventh novel succeeds in evoking the very essence of life one long-ago spring at 22 Lipka Street. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Set in Moscow in 1913, this tale chronicles several months in the life of Frank Reid, who is mysteriously deserted by his wife and must engage the simple peasant girl Lisa Ivanova to care for his three small children. Reid plods along in a remarkably mundane existence, relating to everyone with an amazing, unflagging apathy. Even an armed student radical who breaks into his shop and shoots at him cannot stir him to action. Lisa, to her credit, manages to stir him briefly to passion. The sole bright spot in this otherwise bleak, boring saga is Reid's hilariously precocious daughter, Dolly, whose abrupt, insightful comments are priceless. In this story, resolved anticlimactically in the last line of the text, there is very little spring, but a lot of grim, eternal winter.-- Ronald L. Coombs, SUNY Health Science Ctr. at Brooklyn Lib.
From the Publisher

“Bewitching.” — Boston Globe
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547524795
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/03/1998
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
376,493
File size:
630 KB

Meet the Author

Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the most distinctive voices in British literature. The prize-winning author of nine novels, three biographies and one collection of short stories, she died in 2000.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 17, 1916
Date of Death:
May 3, 2000
Place of Birth:
Lincoln, England
Place of Death:
London, England
Education:
Somerville College, Oxford University, 1939

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The Beginning of Spring 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why two authors? editorial says one not other