A Formal Feeling
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The illustration on the cover of this issue is from the new Bodley Bookshelf edition of Penelope Farmer's The Summer Birds. We think Paul Geiger's artwork catches exactly the magic of that delightful book. We are grateful for the help of The Bodley Head in using this illustration. For details of the book and more about Penelope Farmer, turn to May We Recommend... on page 14.
It's Anne's first homecoming since her father's remarriage; the piano's unturned, dishes unwashed and Dory 'as unlike her mother as anyone could imagine'. Anne's emotions are frozen, locked to memories of her dead mother's beauty and expertise. She is remote from family, friends and reality until, after a painful journey into darkness and doubt, she is able to admit her mother's imperfections. I found the book subtle and strong. It's a private sort of book but it would read aloud well and offer lots of scope for exploring psychological detail.