A Year in Books/Day 47: The Girl from the Fiction Department

  • Title: The Girl from the Fiction Department A Portrait of Sonia Orwell
  • Author: Hilary Spurling
  • Year Published: 2002/This Edition: 2003 (Counterpoint)
  • Year Purchased: 2010
  • Source: My Mom
  • About: A thoughtful, even-handed biography of George Orwell’s controversial second wife (and widow). Although it was written by a later-in-life friend of Sonia’s with the stated goal of setting the record straight, it’s the real deal: well-researched, compassionate and honest.
  • Motivation: My Mother knows me well! Biography + complex woman + literary theme= winner!
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 87: “This was the Sonia who bewitched others all her life, and whose abrupt disappearance invariably came as a shock. Maurice didn’t care for the second self who replaced the first, the wary, reticent Sonia whose uncertainty made her overbearing, the Sonia who could never trust herself or anyone else, especially not someone who seemed in retrospect to have surprised her into an intimacy she feared and could not sustain.”
  • Happiness Scale: 8

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