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« A Sunday by the Pool in Kigali, by Gil Courtemanche, translated by Patricia Claxton | Main | summer! »

Sunday, 31 July 2016


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Harriet Devine

Great review of what sounds like a fascinating, if disturbing book. I've never heard of him either - sounds like you should try to get hold of his other books.


Heh, my daughter wasn't disturbed by it in the slightest, and despite the quotes I've picked out, it wasn't really scary. But I found the idea frightening. ;) One could definitely rewrite it as a horror story. As it is, it's more of a very cunningly disguised morality tale: the sisters have to learn to be kinder to their toys. At one point they decide to take care of the poorly dolls in the dolls house and work like servants for them for weeks, despite knowing full well that the dolls are only pretending to be ill.

Poor David Fletcher seems a perfect illustration of the freaks of literary history: some books are picked up and read and reprinted and others disappear almost without a trace. I am definitely going to hunt down his other books!

Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

What a marvelous discovery! There are a couple of publishers who specialize in bringing back out of print children's books -- NYRB children's classics and Purple House Press are a couple. It sounds worth trying to interest them in Fletcher.


Yes, I feel very lucky to have found this! I wonder if they might be interested; there are so many better-known children's books which are also, alas, out of print. I may well contact them anyway. Thank you!

Jenny @ Reading the End

Hahahaa, what did you say when your daughter said that all stories end happily? Did you tell her the truth or let her live with her happy illusions a little longer?

This sounds creepy but wonderful -- very much the kind of book I'd have owned and loved as a kid. My library doesn't have it, but I'll keep an eye out at used book stores. Maybe I'll get lucky!


What a disturbing book. Though I love your daughter's optimism that all stories have happy endings!


Heh, oh dear, I have completely misrepresented this book. I think the premise is creepy, but the execution is not (and perhaps I am oversensitive to creepiness anyway). Nobody's had any nightmares after reading it. :)

Jenny, I just made a non-committal grunting noise in response to that comment. I don't care to actively lie to her, but then again, I couldn't bear to crush her illusions, at least not yet. They are a luxury of a privileged life, I know. ;) I hope you find a copy!

Stefanie, as a literary observation, it is pretty true - most stories for small children DO end happily.

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