The Bradshaw Variations

The Bradshaw Variations

Book - 2010
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Since quitting work to look after his eight-year-old daughter, Alexa, Thomas Bradshaw has found solace and grace in his daily piano study. His pursuit of a more artistic way of life shocks and irritates his parents and in-laws. Why has he swapped roles with Tonie Swann, his intense, intellectual wife, who has accepted a demanding full-time job? How can this be good for Alexa?

Tonie is increasingly seduced away from domestic life by the harder, headier world of work, where long-forgotten memories of ambition are awakened. She soon finds herself outside their tight family circle, alive to previously unimaginable possibilities. Over the course of a year full of crisis and revelation, we follow the fortunes of Tonie, Thomas, and his brothers and their families: Howard, the successful, indulgent brother, and his gregarious wife, Claudia; and Leo, lacking in confidenceand propped up by Susie, his sharp-tongued, heavy-drinking wife. At the head of the family, the aging Bradshaw parents descend on their children to question and undermine them.

The Bradshaw Variations reveals how our choices, our loves, and the family life we build will always be an echo - a variation - of a theme played out in our own childhood. This masterful and often shockingly funny novel, Rachel Cusk's seventh, shows a prizewinning writer at the height of her powers.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780374100810
Branch Call Number: FIC Cusk
Characteristics: 234p

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WVMLStaffPicks Sep 10, 2014

An upper-middle-class British couple spends a year switching roles—corporate dad rediscovers his youthful passion for classical piano and full-time mom becomes a senior manager. Not for plot-driven readers, this character study is written in clear and perceptive prose. Cusk can describe a feeling, an abstraction, that normally falls outside our perception and it is like we have been given a gift of sight, of seeing things as they truly are.

u
uncommonreader
Aug 01, 2012

Families and relationships. One can see how Cusk is compared to Wolff. As always, her characters seem intelligent but alienated.

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