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A Summer Bird-Cage
     

A Summer Bird-Cage

4.5 2
by Margaret Drabble
 

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Attractive and witty, Sarah has just graduated from Oxford and started a new job at the BBC. As she immerses herself in the excitement of 1960s London, her beautiful older sister, Louise, marries the famous, though admittedly difficult, novelist Stephen Halifax. Louise initially revels in the newfound wealth and glamor that her marriage affords her, but soon she finds

Overview

Attractive and witty, Sarah has just graduated from Oxford and started a new job at the BBC. As she immerses herself in the excitement of 1960s London, her beautiful older sister, Louise, marries the famous, though admittedly difficult, novelist Stephen Halifax. Louise initially revels in the newfound wealth and glamor that her marriage affords her, but soon she finds her relationship the subject of bitter gossip and scathing tabloid headlines. Despite the distance that has always existed between the two sisters, Sarah finds herself bound to Louise as she faces the scrutiny of London society and the two begin to forge a connection they had previously thought impossible. With Margaret Drabble’s signature eye for the subtleties and intricacies of everyday life, A Summer Bird-Cage is captivating, a dazzling, resonant portrait of two young women struggling to find their footing in a city as fickle as it is intoxicating.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780544285200
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/01/2013
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
214
Sales rank:
432,481
File size:
555 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

MARGARET DRABBLE is the author of The Sea Lady, The Seven Sisters, The Peppered Moth, and The Needle's Eye, among other novels. For her contributions to contemporary English literature, she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2008.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England
Date of Birth:
June 5, 1939
Place of Birth:
Sheffield, England
Education:
Cambridge University

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
TipsyLit More than 1 year ago
Perhaps the rare and simple pleasure of being seen for what one is, compensates for the misery of being it. - Margaret Drabble, A Summer Birdcage A Summer Birdcage was published in 1963 by a 24 year-old Margaret Drabble about things that would concern a 24 year-old middle-class woman. Accordingly, the story is written in first person, drawing the reader into the protagonist’s mind as she explores the psychology of relationships, love, marriage, children and life purpose. The sixties is not a decade I generally read in and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The truly vintage cover, the pocket for the old-school library date due card, the sepia-toned pages, the heavy serif font, these things both put me off and drew me in. I never thought I’d find that not much has changed in the past 50 years. The book opens with the protagonist, Sarah, returning home to England from a post-college stint in Paris. Her older sister, Louise, a beautiful yet mysterious and somewhat cruel woman of 24 is suddenly marrying. And so it goes. The sisters have a distant relationship due to Louise’s adolescent rejection of Sarah, but for brief flashes of tender connection. Sarah does not know why Louise is marrying a neurotic man no one can stand. She does not know what will happen with the man she loves, or if she will ever get married. She does not know what to do with her life though she does dream of writing a novel like Kingsley Amis. The story is full of existential observations through the lens of an intelligent thinker establishing her adulthood in a new era: the days are over, thank God, when a woman justifies her existence by marrying. The author helped me to become Sarah. She became I. As one, we searched for answers about the underlying motivations of others and self. I found A Summer Birdcage to be unusually relatable. In my early twenties, I was like Sarah in many ways. A young privileged white woman, graduated from college with a “first,” single for the time being, traveling abroad and returning home to fulfill familial obligations although the real reason was that she felt it time to get started with “real life,” only to be faced with the freeing yet stifling notion that the world waited at her feet and she still didn’t know what the hell to do next. So Sarah and I, we followed the days, accepting invitations we didn’t really want to take, working at a job because it was there, staying out late with men we didn’t love, drinking to get drunk because it felt good to melt our thoughts away, and wrestling with superficial self-confidence all the while remaining painfully self-aware. I may be too close to the action to know whether this book is globally fascinating, or just fascinating to me. But I do know that Margaret Drabble left me wanting more. My only complaint was that the story wasn’t longer. I want to know what happens next to Sarah and her sister. Though I suppose it could be my own answers that I’m after.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago