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Henry James

What Maisie Knew

After her parents' bitter divorce, young Maisie Farange finds herself turned into a 'little feathered shuttlecock' to be swatted back and forth by her selfish mother, Ida, and her vain father, Beale, who value her only as a means of provoking one another. And when both take lovers and remarry, Maisie-solitary, observant and wise beyond her years- is drawn into an entangled adult world of intrigue and sexual betrayal, until she is finally compelled to choose her own future. Published in 1897 when Henry James was becoming increasingly experimental with narrative technique and fascinated by the idea of the child's-eye view, What Maisie Knew is a subtle, intricate yet devastating portrayal of an innocent adrift in a corrupt society.
331 printed pages

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Quotes

    Yevheniya Pelykhhas quoted6 years ago
    Mrs. Wix rose to it. "Well, it's exactly because I knew you'd be so glad to do so that I put the question before you. There's a way to look after us better than any other. The way's just to come along with us."
    It hung before Maisie, Mrs. Wix's way, like a glittering picture, and she clasped her hands in ecstasy. "Come along, come along, come along!"
    Yevheniya Pelykhhas quoted6 years ago
    It simply consisted of the proposal that whenever and wherever they should seek refuge Sir Claude should consent to share their asylum. On his protesting with all the warmth in nature against this note of secession she asked what else in the world was left to them if her ladyship should stop supplies.
    Yevheniya Pelykhhas quoted6 years ago
    It was extraordinary how the child's presence drew out their full strength.

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