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By Doris Lessing

ISBN-10: 0060834897

ISBN-13: 9780060834890

During this profoundly relocating ebook, Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing explores the lives of her mom and dad, each one irrevocably broken through the good struggle. within the fictional first 1/2 Alfred and Emily, she imagines the happier lives her mom and dad may need made for themselves had there been no battle. this can be through a piercing exam in their courting because it really was once within the shadow of the devastating worldwide conflict.

"Here I nonetheless am," says Lessing, "trying to get out from less than that large legacy, attempting to get free." Triumphantly, with Alfred and Emily, she has performed simply that.

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Extra info for Alfred and Emily

Sample text

No marriage counsellors in those days, but if Mary Lane had been one surely she would have warned of incompatibility. She was, however, a wise woman, and must have noted often enough that Nature does not seem to care much about the happiness of her children when making matches. Emily finally got around to saying that she was so unhappy she could die, and she didn’t care if that sounded silly. But she didn’t say why. Mrs Lane waited for her to confide, 53 d or i s l e s s i n g say anything that could be latched on to, but no.

She did not look at Bert, but said to Alfred, ‘I’m leaving 36 a l f re d a n d e m i ly now. ’ Bert had been weeping, the sick, self-pitying tears of the alcoholic: it looked as if Alfred had been giving him a real talking-to. Alfred had been going to London with her: Betsy, Alfred and Mrs Lane, a festive little party. Outside the house Mr Redway was standing, apparently waiting for her. ‘I’ll go with you,’ he said. Betsy and her father-in-law proceeded up the path, which soon became a muddy lane.

She stood up to him well, while her soon-to-be ‘father-inlaw and mother-in-law’ watched silently, and gave her good marks. Bert said to Alfred that he was a lucky dog. And when the Allied Bank’s annual beanfeast came around again, Betsy was sitting beside Mrs Lane under the oak tree, applauding when Mrs Lane indicated she should. There was a pretty good crowd that afternoon, because Alfred Tayler was there, and for the first time Betsy saw her Alfred in his element. There were two celebrations for Alfred and Betsy’s marriage, one a real wedding in Kent, where Alfred was surprised to find he was part of a large and amiable family.

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Alfred and Emily by Doris Lessing


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