Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Family of Women & Miss Purdy's Class by Annie Murray
Family of Women
A story of three generations of women:
Bessie: scarred by a childhood of poverty in the slums of Victorian Birmingham and left a young widow with four children, is a hard, bullying woman who will go to disturbing lengths to keep her family under her thumb.
Violet: one of Bessie's four children, marries young to escape, into the arms of a man whose life will be broken by war,
Linda: grows up on a large housing estate in the 1950s with older sister Joyce and her beloved young sister Carol. Intelligent and energetic, she craves education and something more than the life she sees around her. Torn from her longed for place at the grammar school, she gives up hoping for anything better. It takes a tragic love affair to make her question the limitations of her life and the secrets which haunt her family.
Miss Purdy's Class
In the New Year of 1936, Gwen Purdy, aged 21, leaves her home to become a schoolteacher in a poor area of Birmingham. Her parents are horrified, but she has the support of her fiance, a recently ordained clergyman. Her early weeks in Birmingham are an eye-opener: at the school she faces a class of 52 children, some of whose homes are among Birmingham's very poorest.
Little Lucy Fernandez is a 'cripple' and an epileptic. Through her, Gwen meets Daniel Fernandez, the elder brother in a fatherless household. The family has roots in a Wales' small Spanish community, and Daniel is a young man as fierce and passionate in his emotions as in his social concerns. Gwen falls in love, and is quickly engaged in his battle to win rights for the working classes. As the Brigades are mobilized to fight the Spanish Civil War, Gwen has to face the fact that Daniel has secrets in his past which she would rather not face up to...
This is what I say :
When I bought this book years ago, I thought it's a great deal to have two stories in one book. I don't think the same anyone as the stories weren't really the type that I enjoyed.
There's a lot of bitterness in Family of Women. Perhaps because of the circumstances at that era. The story is more on Violet than the others. It's an eye opener of women in that generations.
Miss Purdy's Class was all about Ms Purdy..not so much about the children in her class. She started off well but in my opinion she wasn't a role model towards the end. To me she wasn't a very responsible person.
I really cannot understand where the author is going with her characters. Maybe I am too impatient or I am just too different. Perhaps others might appreciate these characters more than me.
However, I do appreciate the opportunity.