Friday, March 4, 2016

Two Books by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Review of The Home-maker and The Brimming Cup: I’ve just read two wonderful books by Dorothy Canfield Fisher – The Home-Maker and The Brimming Cup. Fisher was an extraordinary person who brought Montessori-type child rearing to the USA through translating Montessori books, oversaw the first adult education program in the USA, and also influenced what America read through her role in the Book of the Month Club for 26 years. That alone sounds like enough of a to-do list for one person, but she also wrote 22 novels and 11 works of nonfiction.  And she spoke five languages.

The two novels that I’ve read by her are excellent. They drive headlong into the conventions of marriage (or life partnership) and all that community and roots bring to bear on the intimate life of a family. Her novels are unsentimental, fearless, generous, and provoking. She has a beautiful way of telling stories through multiple perspectives and interior monologue. Both of the novels start out sleepy enough, setting the scene, but I could feel the crises brewing in each, and I was glued to the pages while wondering how everything would turn out.

You can find The Brimming Cup at Project Gutenberg as a free download for your e-reader.

You can find The Home-Maker used at in the USA and from the marvelous people at Persephone Books in the UK.

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