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The Italian Girl


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Reviews of The Italian Girl

Overall customer rating: 4.000

A Rough Homecoming

by doug52 on Aug 19, 2010

If there is a reason that "The Italian Girl" does not rank among Murdoch's finest work, it may be that the first person narrator Edmund is hopelessly self-absorbed. Coming home for the funeral of his dictatorial mother, he has no more pressing objective than to get out of his family home and catch the very next train to the half-life he has endured. But families have demands, and Edmund is soon blundering his way through several crises of inheritance, infidelity, and unexpected pregnancy. As always, Murdoch draws vivid characters and creates a powerful sense of locale. Most evocative is Edmund's trek behind his troubled niece to an enchanted spot by a stream, where she upsets his nonchalance with a request that is anything but enchanted. There is no rule in first person literature that we have to like the storyteller, and Murdoch does well in making the light of some other characters -- especailly the surreal servant referred to in the title -- shine clearly through the eyes of a man who, initially at least, could care less.

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