The Children's Book by A S Byatt

The Children's Book

A S Byatt

Children's author, Olive Wellwood, creates a golden Edwardian story book world for her children at Todefright where the adults discuss socialism, free love and emancipation. But life is not as it seems. Olive's personality crushes her children and the parents' unconventional sexual lives rupture the family's security. The children become casualties of parental selfishness and the horrors of war. A rich book for serious-minded readers to relish.

Extract

Tom and Dorothy and Phyllis stood on the stairs listening, ready to scurry up to the bedrooms before they were caught. They heard the sentences they always heard.
'I have always tried to love all your children equally, you cannot say I have not. It has not been easy, though you may think it has. You do not thank me.'
'I might say the same. You cannot say I distinguish your children from my own. All of them have their place, equally, equally ....'

Parallels
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  • The Go Between by L P Hartley
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Books with similar mood

The Kills

Richard House

Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote

Ahmadou Kourouma

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow

Peter Hoeg

A Place of Greater Safety

Hilary Mantel

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Madeleine Thien

Sea of Poppies

Amitav Ghosh

Collaborator

Murray Davies

Fires in the Dark

Louise Doughty

The Quiet Violence of Dreams

K Duiker

The Parisian

Isabella Hammad

Patsy

Nicole Dennis-Benn

The Blindman's Garden

Nadeem Aslam

Matterhorn

Karl Marlantes

Hellfire

Mia Gallagher

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver

A History of Loneliness

John Boyne

Maps of the Soul

Ahmed Fagih

The Prague Cemetery

Umberto Eco

Do Time Get Time

Andrey Rubanov

The Peacock Throne

Sujit Saraf

Beside Myself

Ann Morgan

Burial Rites

Hannah Kent

The Dovekeepers

Alice Hoffman

Manituana

Wu Ming

Truth

Peter Temple

The Forest of Souls

Carla Banks

The Gallows Pole

Benjamin Myers

The Island of Lost Souls

Martyn Bedford

Double Vision

Tricia Sullivan

The Devil's Star

Jo Nesbo

Cradle Song

Robert Edric

At Swim, Two Boys

Jamie O'Neill

The Mulberry Empire

Philip Hensher

The House of Impossible Beauties

Joseph Cassara

Barracuda

Christos Tsiolkas

Forty Days Without Shadow

Olivier Truc

Untied Kingdom

James Lovegrove

The Wake

Paul Kingsnorth

The Death of the Fronsac

Neal Ascherson

A Doubter's Almanac

Ethan Canin

The Year of the Runaways

Sunjeev Sahota

Purge

Sofi Oksanen

The Wasted Vigil

Nadeem Aslam

Seventh Gate

Richard Zimler

Citizen One

Andy Oakes

The Darling

Russell Banks

Someone to Run With

David Grossman

The Human Stain

Philip Roth

Lies, First Person

Gail Hareven