Pieces of Molly: An Ordinary Life

Author(s) : Judith Edwards

Pieces of Molly: An Ordinary Life

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : December 2014
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 224
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 36219
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782202189
  • ISBN 10 : 1782202188
RRP : £9.99
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Molly’s journey starts as everyone’s does, in the womb. In most memoirs the ten years after conception and birth are swiftly passed over, but here we see life from the beginning through the eyes of Molly, a small child grappling with the realities of life as she grows up in rural England at the end of the Second World War. She is a curious little detective, keen to find out as much as she can about life and love. For her, the shadows behind the doors only make sense in hindsight, and buried family secrets come to light as she struggles with the problem of how and who to be in the world. This is a story that examines the boundaries between memory and imagination, hope and illusion.

About the Author(s)

Judith Edwards is a child and adolescent psychotherapist who has worked for over thirty years at the Tavistock Clinic in London. Apart from her clinical experience, one of her principal interests is in the links between psychoanalysis, culture, and the arts, as well as making psychoanalytic ideas accessible to a wider audience. She has an international academic publishing record and in 2010 was awarded the Jan Lee memorial prize for the best paper linking psychoanalysis and the arts during that year: ‘Teaching & Learning about Psychoanalysis: Film as a teaching tool’.

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Grapevine on 04/03/2015 17:25:34

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

Grapevine writer and psychoanalyst Judith Edwards has written a beautiful book (a novel, a memoire) that begins in the womb and ends in Molly's grandmother's Christmas pudding (boiled for 12 hours, with ale and brandy to taste.

Molly strives to come to terms with her life, starting with the trauma of a difficult birth and an emotionally distant mother. As the book's preface says, quoting Montaigne, "We are all patchwork" and so our lives are not linear and progressive but rather complicated and patterned in difficult ways. It takes a lifetime to see the whole quilt.

Woven into the threads of this tale are the atmosphere, the geography, the physical space around Molly. This is a space situated in time, a time that is non-linear and reflexive. Molly grows up on a farm near perilous cliffs that drop off into the sea. Her father whom she idolizes raises farm animals and harvests wheat, but as years pass the world's increasing mechanization impacts his world. And Molly's.

There is so much to love in the book, so much self-discovery, as suggested by the enchanting cover image by Lille St. Claire O'Connor of a wide-eyed child immortalized in bronze.

I love the title Pieces of Molly – like pieces of eight. Spanish doubloons, coins that controlled the world in the 16th century. Coins from Bolivian mountains mined by slaves and natives at a tremendous cost in human life. Fragments of silver taken back to Europe from America.

Judith Edwards mines the past and brings forth a rich collection of memories, memories modified over time, roiled and reinterpreted as child grows into adulthood.

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