Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (1961)

This is my first time ever to read Muriel Spark's very famous novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.  I have seen the movie several times on cable so I knew the general plot line of a teacher at a private school  in pre-WW Two  Scotland, sympathetic to the Fascists in Italy and Hitler in the early years whose teaching methods were unconventional.  Every year she would select a few pupils as "her girls" and try to truly educate them.  To me part of the immense pleasure in reading this very insightful and at times hilarious novel was in seeing how Miss Brodie's girls perceived her and especially her relationships with two male teachers.  I think part of my enjoyment of this book arose from my having three daughters and wondering how they would react to Miss Brodie.  This is not a long book, the prose is a consistent delight, the satire is really well done and the characters are marvelously developed.  I am so glad I have at last read this book.

I was given a free review copy.

Mel u


scott g.f.bailey said...

One of my all-time favorite novels. Miss Brodie's lack of self-awareness, and her overwhelming pride, are so well done. I also love the way the book is told out-of-order, looping around in time. A great book. Probably Spark's finest work.

Mel u said...

Scott, thanks for your comment. I really enjoyed this book a lot, somehow more than I thought I would.