What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew

eBook - 2012
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At first, Maisie didn't know much - she was only six years old when her mother and father divorced. Her embittered parents shared custody, using the child as a pawn in their struggles. Neglected and exploited, Maisie shuttled back and forth between their homes. The things she saw and overheard, as her elders re-married and conducted adulterous affairs, hastened her advance from early childhood to a precocious maturity. Rather than offering a gloomy tale of innocence corrupted, What Maisie Knew abounds in dark humor and savage wit. Henry James takes particular aim at the mores of the English upper classes in his tale of a sensitive little girl and her spirited reaction to irresponsible, self-absorbed adults. Written in an era when divorce was far less common than it is today, this 1897 novel is strikingly modern in its subject and narrative voice.
Publisher: [United States] : Dover Publications : Made available through hoopla, 2012
ISBN: 9780486146065
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital


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Sep 12, 2014

"This would make a great movie!" That's a thought that no reader of Henry James has ever had. Yet somehow they've made a number of movies of his books, including a few of his most difficult, like "The Golden Bowl" and "What Maisie Knew." The seemingly straightforward story of a young girl left adrift after her parents' acrimonious divorce, this is one of James's greatest excursions into the inner life and consciousness of a character and certainly one of the first novel's to try and understand and child's point of view. Dense, complex, and cerebral, it's never an easy read, but it is a rewarding one. Looking for an easier entry into James's formidable oeuvre? Try "Daisy Miller," "Washington Square," or "The Turn of the Screw."

Apr 15, 2014

A Little Girl used as a Bargaining Chip by her Parents, finds people who actually love her. She LOVES these two people and the life she has with them. Will this Little Girl be allowed to BE a Little Girl or a Token/Prize that the Parents/Court have made her out to be?

jmorris11 Jun 04, 2013

I found the book a little difficult to read since there was more description than actual dialogue or plot.

Aug 20, 2011

This book was on a list of Penelope Lively’s (Moon Tiger) favorites, but there’s probably a reason as to why this is not a Henry James best-known. I could not get beyond the second chapter. Henry James got away with writing the view point of a young woman in several of his more famous books, but a viewpoint of a child…not so much. Obtuse, flowery sentences like “she saw more and more; she saw too much” are all over the place. He never breaks out into a story-telling narrative, as he does so successfully in his other books. Nevertheless, it is an unusual topic for a writer of the time…the viewpoint of a young child amid divorce. If you’ve gone beyond the second chapter and enjoyed the book, please write a counter review; I would love to know that I gave up too early.

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