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The Pure Gold Baby

A Novel

Margaret Drabble

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


"Achingly wise . . . Admirers of Marilynne Robinson will find themselves very much at home in this book." —Wall Street Journal

Jessica Speight, an anthropologist in 1960s London, is at the beginning of a promising academic career when an affair leaves her a single mother. Anna is delightful—a pure gold baby. But as it becomes clear that Anna is not a normal child, the book circles questions of responsibility, potential, even age, with Margaret Drabble’s characteristic intelligence and wit. Told from the point of view of Jess's fellow mothers, The Pure Gold Baby is a movingly intimate look at the unexpected transformations at the heart of motherhood.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 05, 2013 – Anna, the eponymous golden baby, is born to anthropologist Jess Speight in 1960s London. Anna is sweet-natured, pretty, and, it turns out, developmentally disabled: she’ll never live on her own or learn to read. And though she’s fatherless, her mother is smart, dedicated, and loving, and the two are surrounded by a community of mothers who watch over each other. One of these mothers narrates Jess’s story from the vantage point of a friendship that has lasted to the present day. The passage of time—the narrator often compares their “innocent world” where cholesterol hadn’t yet been “invented” to the less innocent but more politically correct present—is a primary focus of the book, as is aging, changing views about care of the challenged and the disabled, and the randomness not only of genes but destinies: how much did Jess’s early trip to Africa influence her life? Why does one of the children in Jess and Anna’s neighborhood end up in jail? But the book merely circles these issues. Occasionally, as when Jess takes up with dashing photographer Bob, the narrator’s tone grows breathless, even ominous, and we expect a big event, but there is none. In the end, very little happens, and though Drabble’s intelligence is evident, the story drags.
The Pure Gold Baby
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  • $1.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Oct 01, 2013
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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