September 1, 2000
September 1, 2000
Mrs. Hawkins takes us in hand and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fat but much admired young war widow, she spent her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher and her evenings dispensing advice at her small South Kensington rooming house. At work and at home, Mrs. Hawkins soon uncovered evil: shady literary doings and a deadly enemy; anonymous letters, blackmail, and suicide. With aplomb, however, Mrs. Hawkins confidently set about putting things to order, little imagining the mayhem which would ensue.
Now decades older, thin, successful, and delighted with life in Italy - a far cry from Kensington - Mrs. Hawkins looks back to those dark doings, and recounts how her own life changed forever. She still, however, loves to give advice: "It's easy to get thin. You eat and drink the same as always, only half....I offer this advice without fee; it is included in the price of this book."
In Muriel Spark's memoir-like novel, Mrs. Hawkins, now living in Italy, looks back on her life in postwar London as an overweight young widow. By day, she works for a series of shady publishing firms; by night, she becomes involved with the inhabitants of her cheesy South Kensington boarding house. She also finds herself embroiled in a strange, existential mystery when anonymous letters begin arriving at her office. In an amusing aside, Mrs. Hawkins reveals her secrets for successful dieting, by means of which she went from fat in her London years to agreeably svelte in her Italian ones--years which in every way are, she tells us, "a far cry from Kensington."
- Genre: Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Subgenre: Literary, Human Qualities + Behavior, Humorous Fiction, Settings, Types of Characters, Work + the Workplace, General, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Family + Friendship
- Language: English
- Author: Muriel Spark
- Online Item #: 12196670
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 248-40-8856
- ISBN: 9780811214575
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported