In the cool of the evening I finish off Doris Lessing’s book ” The Sweetest Dream” . The ending blows me away.
She wrote this book in 2001, and I, being up to my neck in infants, missed it until now.
Decades ago her book Shikasta sustained me in its vision at a low ebb in my life, my inherited catholicism fluttering useless to me in a roaring wind. This book concerns three women, starting in the sixties. Her womens’ heroic struggle in the rearing of adolescents was wonderfully observed and illuminating. Sucked me in. She blamed the hardships, the messy recalcitrance of teenagers, on a sort of generational derailment after the second world war, where I have put affluence and a dodgy message of entitlement in the frame with my own sweet horrors. Same as it ever was?
Whatever, you are catapulted from family life in London to immediately post liberation Africa in the third section of the book, where her painfully salvaged adolescent girl, a doctor now, goes doctoring, in a scalding story line of savage waste and boundless loss. Yeah, Doris Lessing knows. Knows life. Knows women. Knows Africa. She knows.
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