Flight of the Maidens

Flight of the Maidens

A Novel

Book - 2000
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Deliciously, with keen perception and touching humanity, this new novel from one of England's most gifted writers follows three young Yorkshire women, all of them scholarship girls, through the weeks preceding their departures for university in Cambridge and London. If they face the future with innocence and uncertainty, their parents and guardians belong in spirit to an England now past, even as they gaze upon a world that has been utterly altered by six long years of war. It is the summer of 1946. In this time of clothing coupons and social readjustment, Hetty Fallowes struggles intellectually to become independent of her possessive and tactless but loving mother, while her best friend, Una Vane, asserts her nascent womanhood with a sexually interesting fellow from the wrong side of the Yorkshire tracks. And Liselotte Klein, a Jewish refugee who arrived fat, solitary, and clever from Hamburg in 1939, comes through painful trials in London and California to surprising possibilties. By summer's end, all three have begun to learn they know neither everything nor nothing.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Carroll & Graf : 2000
ISBN: 9780786708796
0786708794
Branch Call Number: FIC Gard
Characteristics: 278p

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ArapahoeAnnaL Jun 21, 2019

Gardam establishes the independence and integrity of her 17 year old characters: in two different instances they forfeit potential inheritances by refusing to conform to an older woman's expectations. In a way that I think of as British, these are not people who agonize over other people's opinions of them, but simply get on with figuring out who they are and what they want from life. I found the girl from the kindertransport especially compelling as her understanding of her situation grows. Gardam refers to one character as "the gravedigger." This has a comic effect and also creates emotional distance from the reader and the other characters. Wonderful literary historical fiction!

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uncommonreader
Apr 19, 2019

It is 1946 and two young women from the North are off to university. This is the story of their growing up.

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EmilyEm
Sep 22, 2017

Newly published, this earlier book by a favorite author has all the charm and humor of her other work. Three young women, scholarship winners to attend college in 1946 England, encounter life and love in the summer prior to the school term.

A pivotal time and place for these three women, two of whom are from families of diminished means and one a Jewish girl who was part of the Kindertransport put in the care of a Quaker couple. Wonderful. So many wonderful characters.

k
Kelseydoolittle
Jun 24, 2015

placed in the wrong library bin=
returned to Merlo when should have been returned to Lincoln Park

o
ownedbydoxies
Feb 24, 2014

It's funny because I picked this book up a few months back and could not get into it in any way. Totally forgot I'd had it and picked it up again and this time I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and understand the three young British women. Their stories of their lives immediately after WWII were interesting and reflect the times very well. Just goes to show how a book can hit you in different ways at different times in your life.

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ArapahoeAnnaL Jun 21, 2019

There was a dream next, and inside it she knew she had dreamed it so many times that it had become a depth of dreams...It was a spyglass view of a figure at a great distance, growing smaller all the time...but she knew it was a man...she felt a terrible love and grief. Then he vanished in a roaring of wheels and steam that blew across her vision...She must not sleep again, for the dream would come back...her bedroom door opened a little wider and one of the skulls of the Belsen films looked round it, and then disappeared. pg. 225

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