The Pumpkin Eater is a surreal black comedy about the wages of adulthood and the pitfalls of parenthood. A nameless woman speaks, at first from the precarious perch of a therapist’s couch, and her smart, wry, confiding, immensely sympathetic voice immediately captures and holds our attention. She is the mother of a vast, swelling brood of children, also nameless, and the wife of a successful screenwriter, Jake Armitage. The Armitages live in the city, but they are building a great glass tower in the country in which to settle down and live happily ever after. But could that dream be nothing more than a sentimental delusion? At the edges of vision the spectral children come and go, while our heroine, alert to the countless gradations of depression and the innumerable forms of betrayal, tries to make sense of it all: doctors, husbands, movie stars, bodies, grocery lists, nursery rhymes, messes, aging parents, memories, dreams, and breakdowns. How to pull it all together? Perhaps you start by falling apart.
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The unnamed narrator of this story is married to her fourth and excessively well-paid husband. This income only serves to highlight the emptiness of a life led by a woman deprived of the domestic trappings that have defined her.Review:
Beautiful ... almost every woman I can think of will want to read this book (Edna O'Brien)
A strange, fresh, gripping book. One of the the many achievements of The Pumpkin Eater is that it somehow manages to find universal truths in what was hardly an archetypal situation: Mortimer peels several layers of skin off the subjects of motherhood, marriage, and monogamy, so that what we're asked to look at is frequently red-raw and painful without being remotely self-dramatizing. In fact, there's a dreaminess to some of the prose that is particularly impressive, considering the tumult that the book describes (Nick Hornby)
One of those novels which seem to be written with real knowledge of the brink of the abyss, taut almost beyond endurance ( The Sunday Times)
A seriously good writer ( Telegraph)
A subtle, fascinating, unhackneyed novel... in touch with human realities and frailties, unsentimental and amused... So moving, so funny, so desperate, so alive... [A] fine book, and one to be greatly enjoyed ( The New York Times)
In this, her best book, Mortimer employs a steely, sceptical firm-eyed prose, which pays readers the compliment of regarding them almost as collaborators ( Guardian)
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1986. Book Condition: Fair. N/A. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP88647353
Book Description Hutchinson, London, United Kingdom, 1986. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st.Century Edition. 5.3/4"x 8.3/4". Bookseller Inventory # 042916