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Spinsters Paperback – Jun 1 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; First Thus edition (June 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852424052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852424053
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.5 x 20 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,427,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A box of chocolates Oct. 26 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At the risk of sounding too Forrest Gump-ish, I would have
to say that "Spinsters" is like a box of chocolates. Each
chapter is a perfect little world, and when you finish one
you stop and say to yourself "Oh, I think I'll have just one
more." Before you know it the book is finished, and you sit
there, completely satisfied, but unsure as to exactly what
you have just consumed. So you stop for a moment, and like
remembering a particularly yummy nougat or macadadamia nut
center, you recall wonderfully realized moments, and smile
as each new memory of these characters, who have become a
part of your life, plays across the pleasure centers of your
brain. This book, like a box of chocolates, is deceptively
simple. As you bite into each chapter the chocolate is only
a facade covering the creamy, sweet inviting centers that
await with each page turn. But best of all reading this
book is an absolutely fat-free experience. All of the
pleasure, none of the guilt.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Totally Ordinary Sept. 9 1999
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'd heard the buzz about Pagan Kennedy, so I figured I'd grab this and see what the fuss was all about. Set in 1968, the book is about two 30-something sisters who embark on a cross-country road trip following the death of their father, who've they've been caring for. It's more or less a belated coming of age tale for Frannie, the virgin of the two, as she gradually sheds her safe life and appearance. Although there are a couple of nice lines ("My mother understood longing better than love.") it didn't strike me as anything special and didn't enthuse me to pursue anything else by Kennedy.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
an exquisite book Jan. 8 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely lovely, witty, and insightful. At first I was drawn into by the dead-on descriptions of New England -- houses, people, places -- which made me homesick; then I was utterly absorbed in the story -- simple (in the way only really well-crafted writing can be), subtle, and a great read. I recommended it to my book club (which means I happily got to reread it) and all eight members agreed it was the best pick of the year! (I was kind of surprised, because we never agree on anything, but apparently this book's wonderful story and writing have universal appeal.) Truly a gem.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Off the Road July 12 2013
By Christopher Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The day after Martin Luther King Jr is assassinated, Dora and Frannie's father, passes away after a long illness. Shortly after, the sisters receive an invitation from their Aunt Katherine to live with her.
Living with their Aunt and her black maid Letty proves unfulfilling to the sisters. They decide to visit other relatives and this ultimately results in a road trip through America's Southern states.
As is evident from my above rating this novella (its word count is only some 63000 words) is not something I could easily recommend.
It is an agreeable and easy read but this only damns the novella with faint praise. I found the book lacking in subtlety and depth. The motifs, allusions and symbols are writ large. The pacifist Martin Luther King Jr is killed while the next day the World War II conscientious objector father of Dora and Frannie dies. America is going through huge changes and turmoil; the Vietnam War, the anti war riots, the race riots, women's liberation. These changes will irrevocably alter the country, politically, socially and culturally. America's Baby Boomers were attempting to rip the country from the hands of the pre World War II old guard and pull the country into a modern world. These events are mirrored, in a smaller way of course, in the lives of the sisters. Dora is outgoing, sexually active, gregarious and believes in a brighter future. Frannie on the other hand is old fashioned, strait laced and clings to the past and its apparent certitude.
They drive through Texas but decide not to stop in this particular state due to the oppressive heat. Of course, even five years on the sound of bullets can still be heard reverberating around the Lone Star state.
The conclusions to the all the story threads that weave through the book are foreseeable and rather too neat for a book that uses the America in the 1960s as its backdrop. The Vietnam War raged on for another four years. Nixon became President in 1969 and his Waterloo was still four years away. The times were a changin' but the old guard still had a grip on the political rudder.
If one was to read The Spinsters as anything other than an allegorical novel then one could find it enjoyable. The author Pagan Kennedy does have an elegant, clear writing style that throws up some wonderful images, a `saleslady whose hair was stiff as seven minute icing'.
Dora and Frannie's feelings of entrapment, loneliness and isolation while caring for their father will resonant with many people in an age where one in four people in the UK care for an elderly parent. The handling of this particular issue is what would earn this novella an extra half a mark.

No' of pages - 158
Sex scenes - none (there is some mild sexual references)
Profanity - none
Genre - drama
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Read slowly Feb. 13 2006
By Jon C. Lundell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I liked this book more than I can say. I found the prose so overwhelmingly, sometime excruciatingly, lovely that I forced myself to read slower, to make it last, not end so soon. Then I read it again.


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