September 2009 Book of the Month.
A family drama where the characters spend their time analysing themselves and their roles in the family. Funny and sad this novel will have you analysing your own place in life and looking at what influences and creates who you are. A thoughtful and thought provoking book.
Since leaving his job to look after Alexa, his eight year old daughter, Thomas Bradshaw has found the structure of his daily piano practice and the study of musical form brings a nourishment to these difficult middle years. His pursuit of a more artistic way of life shocks and irritates his parents and his in-laws. Why has he swapped roles with Tonie Swann, his intense, intellectual wife who has accepted a demanding full-time University job? How can this be good for Alexa and for the family as a whole?
Tonie tunes herself out of domestic life, into the harder, headier world of work where long-since forgotten memories of herself are awakened. She soon finds herself outside their tight family circle and alive to previously unimaginable possibilities.
Over the course of a year full of crisis and revelation, we follow the fortunes of Thomas, Tonie, his brothers and their families: Howard, the older, more successful brother and his gregarious wife Claudia; and Leo, lacking confidence, propped up by Susie, his sharp-tongued, heavy-drinking wife. At the head of the family, the aging Bradshaw parents continue their marital dynamic of bickering and petty undermining.
The Bradshaw Variations is a powerful novel about how our choices and our loves and the family life we build will always be an echo - a variation - of a theme played out in our own childhood. The novel, Cusk's sixth , shows a prize-winning writer at the height of her powers.
‘Cusk is both clever and precise at providing realistic snippets of modern family life.
She places a wry, elegiac microscope on the trappings of convention.’ Diana Evans, Financial Times
Publication date: 03/09/2009
Publisher: Faber and Faber
|Publication date:||3rd September 2009|
|Publisher:||Faber and Faber|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,|
Rachel Cusk was born to English parents in Canada in 1967, and spent most of her early childhood in Los Angeles. On coming to England in 1975, she was sent to a Catholic convent school in Cambridge before reading English at New College, Oxford. After graduation, she lived and worked in Madrid for a year before travelling in Central America. Her first novel Saving Agnes won the Whitbread First Novel Award in 1993. She is also the author of The Temporary and Country Life. Rachel now lives permanently in North London, concentrating on her writing, as well reviewing regularly for The Times and ...More About Rachel Cusk