One of the first illuminations in literary history of joint custody after a divorce, WHAT MAISIE KNEW is Henry James's farce about disloyalty and child abandonment. Told from the perspective of a little girl whose parents create a disastrous net of adultery giving Maisie at times as many as seven parents, including her honorable governess. The novel is rich in its folly, yet sharp in its sadness as the child gets further and further exploited for the betrayals by her mother, father, step-parents and other surrogates, but in the end Maisie emerges triumphant and self-determined.
Genre: Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
Subgenre: Types of Characters, Stages of Life, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Human Qualities + Behavior, Family + Friendship, Classics, Conflicts + Dualities, General