Monday, 7 December 2009
The love-child (Olivier) 46
I came across The love child through one of the students at the college where I work; he requested that a copy be bought for the library, and I had a sneaky look at it before I passed it over.
This is a delightful tale, albeit with a slightly surreal edge. We meet Agatha Bodenham, aged 32, shortly after her mother has died. On her own now for the first time in her life, she lacks friends or other acquaintances, and resurrects her childhood imaginery friend Clarissa. At first Clarissa exists solely in Agatha's imagination, but soon "others too can see her" and she becomes a very real person in Agatha's life. Asked by a policeman to fill in a form to file for adoption, she explains that Clarissa is a love-child; the policeman understands this to mean that Clarissa was an illegitimate child, but the reader knows that Clarissa exists through Agatha's love.
As Clarissa grows up it is difficult for her relationship with Agatha to remain the same. Agatha is powerless to control Clarissa, although she continues to attempt to protect the girl and this leads to a sad ending.
Definitely a VMC to read, especially as it is very short (200p with spaced out type!). I think it is a shame that it has only been published once.