Confinement

Confinement

by Carrie Brown

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425200278
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date: 03/28/2005
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author


Carrie Brown, a former journalist, lives in Sweet Briar, Virginia, with her husband, the novelist John Gregory Brown, and their three children. Her first novel, Rose's Garden, won the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. Her most recent book, The Hatbox Baby, won the 2001 Great Lakes Booksellers Association award for fiction and the 2001 Library of Virginia Literary Award.

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Confinement 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
LCBrooks on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Carrie Brown makes her readers think and pass judgment. The characters in Confinement, like The Rope Walk, possess a maligned innocence. The novel challenges the reader to assess the characters' judgment and morality as they struggle with questions of religion, society, addiction, fear, love, and family.
mbergman on LibraryThing 5 months ago
What a touching book! A blurb on the back says of her earlier book, Lamb in Love, Brown "writes with a tremendous affection for her characters." That's certainly true again here. It would be easy to pass judgment on these characters for their faulty judgments & timidity; instead, we struggle right along with them as they face difficult choices. The main character is an Austrian Jew forced out of Vienna, along with his eife & son, by the Nazi invasion. His wife & new baby daughter die during the London bombings, & he & his son eventually find refuge on the estate of a wealthy couple outside New York City. He becomes something of a surrogate father to the couple's daughter, about the same age as his son. The daughter becomes pregant at age 17 & is sent off to a house for unwed mothers & to give the baby up for adoption. Arthur is tormented by the choice but unable to summon the wisdom & courage to alter the course of events. Throughout the book, he is tormented, comforted, & advised by dreams & daytime visions of a fellow Jew he witnessed suffering a beating in Vienna as the Nazis arrived. The visions are occasionally accompanied by reflections on God, until, late in the book, after the Viennese doctor appears several times alongside his grandson, then disappears. "Where are you? Arthur asked the empty bus. Speak to me. But the doctor never answered, any more than God had ever answered." (334) "Arthur minded Dr. Ornstein's disappearance from his life more than God's. Of God he had never been certain anyway, but at least he knew Dr. Ornstein had been real, had lived once, had known what it meant to have a man's heart, to play his fingers over the keys of his beautiful piano, to touch the mysterious wounds of his patients." (323) A profoundly moving, rich novel of love & longing for what's just out of one's reach.
Elsie_Brooks More than 1 year ago
Carrie Brown makes her readers think and pass judgment. The characters in Confinement, like The Rope Walk, possess a maligned innocence. The novel challenges the reader to assess the characters' judgment and morality as they struggle with questions of religion, society, addiction, fear, love, and family.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1939 Jewish tailor Arthur Henning accompanied by his wife, their son and their infant daughter barely escapes the Nazi invasion of his hometown of Vienna. He relocates in London, but ironically tragedy occurs about a year later when his spouse and daughter die during a Nazi air assault. --- In 1946 Arthur and his son Toby immigrate to the United States. In the New York City suburbs, he becomes a chauffeur to wealthy banker Mr. Duvall and his wife. However, Toby impregnates the Duval daughter Aggie, who refuses to reveal the identity of the father to her parents. Having no say, Aggie is sent to Mrs. MacCauley¿s house for unwed mothers. When the child is born, the baby is given away for adoption. Over the years the five participants increasingly feel betrayed by their loved ones.--- This character driven historical tale uses flashbacks to provide insight into war years and the beginning of the boomer era. The story line is cleverly designed so that the audience knows how the key quintet feels especially Arthur who believes that life is one big tragedy. Though quite dark in outlook fans of deep pessimistic mid twentieth century stories will want to be confined with Carrie Brown¿s gloomy tale.--- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carrie Brown is surely one of the most gifted writers working today. Her prose is luminous, tugging on heartstrings, brilliantly evoking a place. Her first novel, Rose's Garden, stands alone, reflecting Ms. Brown's empathy for and understanding of her characters. Lamb In Love fulfilled the promise found in her initial offering. With Confinement the author has lost none of her deft pen, her delicately painted scenes, yet for this reader the story was so lugubrious, ponderous that one was oft tempted to put it aside. This effect may well have been brought about by the time protagonist Arthur Henning spends in rumination. In a nutshell, it is his story. With the aid of friends Arthur and his young son, Toby, have come to the country estate of a New York banker. He is a refugee, driven from his Vienna home by the Nazis and now a widower, having lost his wife, Anna, and infant daughter in a London bombing. All of this is more than Arthur can accept or comprehend. It was Anna he tells us who had faith and could speak properly to God. As for him, 'He could only speak to God as he would speak to anyone, and he did not know, now, whether even Anna would have been able to pray to a God who could fail to rise up against such evil as the world had seen.' This paradox haunts him constantly. Further, in Vienna he was a tailor; here he is a chauffeur. Yet, he has found refuge because there is a cottage for him and Toby, and conviviality with the other servants. Thus, for a decade, Arthur remains somewhat at ease, taking pleasure in watching Toby and the family's daughter, Agatha, grow. But, at last, his stillness is interrupted when he's ordered to drive Agatha to a home for unwed mothers where she is to have her baby and give it up for adoption. Once again, for Arthur, the incomprehensible is taking place, and it is enough to make him see what his life has become and what might be done. The denouement? A heartbreaking one that could only flow from the pen of Carrie Brown. - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
A moving, riveting tale. You've got to read it to be sucked in by the magic that Brown weaves with her words. Read up on her, too...She's pretty incredible. Fantastic story, intricate characters, spellbinding plot. Brown puts it all together, and it melts in your mouth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story of an Austrian Jew who emigrated to the US after World War II rings true with authenticity and provides great insights into the times from a unique perspective. However, I felt cheated since the protagonist dances around the subject of his son's disappearance throughout the whole story, even though it is told from his point of view and we are privy to his thoughts the entire time. Also, the ending smacked of 'Deus ex machina.' Everything and everyone in the story led a miserable existence, and in the final few paragraphs we are supposed to believe that now, finally, everything will be all right. It was just a little too much to swallow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm really glad Carrie Brown put the work into this book for us. It's so finely crafted and emotionally honest that it really stands out from most other fiction I've read. What can I say, Arthur Henning now feels like a close friend of mine, and the characters are as real to me as any other family I know. A really great book that was a joy to read!