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My Mother Gets Married - Moa Martinson

My Mother Gets Married

By: Moa Martinson, Margaret S. Lacy (Translator)

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Originally published in Sweden in 1936, this novel is told through the eyes of seven-year-old Mia, as she observes her mother’s relationship with her handsome but hard-drinking and unfaithful husband. Booklist calls the novel, “a poignant, yet unsettling documentary story that transcends time and place in its depiction of the struggles of the working poor, deserving of a place alongside such notables as Sinclair Lewis, Ole Rolvaag, and John Steinbeck."

Published in Sweden in 1936, the first volume of an autobiographical trilogy by Martinson (Women and Appletrees, 1985): a touching, richly detailed account of two years in the life of a family struggling for survival, seen through the eyes of a naive but observant girl. Mia is almost seven when the book opens, born illegitimate and in poverty. With her mother's marriage, Mia is to acquire a stable home and a stepfather - who, alas, is a wastrel with selfish, grasping relatives, except for his foster-mother, who proves to be a real friend. Mia and her mother Hedwig manage to stay together, seeking work in factory towns and on farms, repeatedly rising into the respectable working-class and then sliding back to lice-ridden degradation. Along the way, Mia forms strong attachments - notably with a supportive teacher and with stunted little Hanna, who lives in the poorhouse - that must be broken when the family moves on. Meanwhile, Hedwigemains the center of Mia's universe, but she is also a mystery: her inexplicable loyalty to her unreliable husband; her sudden transformations. Hedwig maintains civilized values even in the midst of grinding poverty (so much so that a fellow tenantfarmer's wife curtseys to her out of respect), but she becomes (when pregnant) a wan, frightened creature who shames her daughter by vomiting into the hedges in plain view of people passing on the road. The simplicity of the narrative has been well-served by the translator, who occasionally follows Swedish snytax, just enough to enhance the novel's flavor without being artificially cute. A vivid picture of working-class Swedish life and culture at the turn of the century, focusing on the experiences of women. (Kirkus Reviews)

ISBN: 9780935312997
ISBN-10: 0935312994
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st January 1993
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.84 x 14.22  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.54