From the list on siblings in trying circumstances.
Who am I?
I taught my first three recommendations as an English professor at Dickinson College. Since I retired, I’m constantly on the lookout for books worth discussing. Growing up, my feelings towards my brilliant and accomplished older sister cycled between awe, jealousy, resentment, and affection. That must partly account for the draw of books that explore the shared experiences and complex relationships of siblings. She’s sadly gone now, but watching the closening ties and lingering frictions between my own daughter and son keeps that interest alive—as does my constant witnessing of my wife’s rich relationship with her two older brothers. Since Cain and Abel, it’s all been about siblings.
Thomas' book list on siblings in trying circumstances
Why did Thomas love this book?
James’s novella is the closest thing I know to a literary version of the “Rabbit or Duck?” illusion— either a ghost story or a case study in psychopathology, depending on your perspective.
Miles and Flora, 10 and 8, are Victorian orphans left in the charge of an uncaring uncle. Their governess is far more attentive, but her own cloistered religious upbringing hasn’t prepared her for a world of anything other than Purity versus Corruption.
When she learns that the previous governess at Bly House was seduced by the uncle’s valet, she’s driven at any cost to purge the children of their vile influences—which she thinks they continue to exert as ghosts. But is she the only dangerous adult presence?
A chilling look at the power of puritanical ideology and the total dependence of children on their educators and caregivers, this book is well worth whacking through the thicket of James’s…