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Searching for something else, I found a pile of Muriel Spark books that I had completely forgotten buying. I don't think that the book you have just read is one of them but since I haven't read anything of hers since I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Girls of Slender Means and The Ballad of Peckham Rye back in the early 80's, I have plenty to work through and as they are all very neat little paperbacks which will fit neatly in my bag for my trek to and from work, I think I might be in for a Spark binge-read.

Christine Harding

I am a huge fan of Muriel Spark, but I must admit this is not one of my favourites, and I don't think it's one of her strongest works, but it did raise questions about identity, and the way we see ourselves, and the way others see us. And I thought your review was very perceptive, especially your comments about Frederick, and his horrific revenge - I kept thinking it was all some kind of carefully staged joke but, of course, it was only too real.


I think I only had read the first two you mention as well, though I (of course) own almost all of them--or quite a few as I think she was really prolific. With all the talk of her anniversary I thought I should really read another. I wouldn't mind picking up one or two more as well!


To be honest, I can see how this would not be a favorite and of the books by her I have read (admittedly not many) this is at the bottom of the list, but I think she is interesting and a very good writer even if the story is not a favorite. Frederick is pretty nasty--who thinks of revenge like that?! Reading it unravel was pretty cringe-worthy-and even that little girl seemed kind of wickedly nasty in trying to get Annabel 'caught out' in a lie. I chose this mostly on the size of the book but the story did sound appealing. Which is your favorite?


Ooooh interesting! I've not read any Muriel Spark as yet, though I've had The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie on my list for aaaages. It sounds like this one might also be worth a look. Thanks for sharing your review!


I have read a small handful--but she was so prolific there are lots of books to try. I would start with The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie--it is a great novel (I should pick it up again), but this was unexpectedly good, too! Enjoy--when you get to her!

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