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The Good Looking Women

The Good Looking Women

The Good Looking Women by Ruth Park

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, this amazing book really resonated with me.

My husband is a (non practicing) Catholic & his mother had eight children in thirteen years in the 50s & the early 60s. So, a generation later than the Pond family, but devout Catholics in NZ were still confronting some of the issues in this book in the 1970s,* that Park creates for this working class Australian family in the 1950’s.

So what happens when one sister (maybe) has visions? How do the others feel, how do the parents react? & the wider community, how will they feel?

This book is not only a study of faith, but also of being trapped, manipulation and consequences. As much as I loved Park’s best known work, The Harp in the South, I think this book is superior. I’m still thinking about it, & I think it will still be in my head for weeks.

* No, not visions but (view spoiler)[ Unwanted and/or endless pregnancies. (hide spoiler)]

This book was originally published as Serpent’s Delight, in my opinion a far superior title. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think the women’s looks (view spoiler)[ other than poor Elva being worn down & losing hers! (hide spoiler)] were relevant to the book.

Edit; Be warned that the other review for this book contains a couple of major unmarked spoilers.…

View all my reviews

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