by Janet Hobhouse, introduction by Daphne Merkin
A SELECTION OF THE LOST BOOKS CLUB
An exhilarating, fiercely honest, ultimately devastating book, The Furies confronts the claims of family and the lure of desire, the difficulties of independence, and the approach of death.
Janet Hobhouse’s final testament is beautifully written, deeply felt, and above all utterly alive.
This is a grim, tough, powerful, and beautiful book, the memoir of a genuine heroine, whose struggle against the calamities that beset her — beginning with the wounds inflicted by a remote coldhearted father and a pathetically helpless mother and ending with the anguish of a wrecked marriage, the mother's suicide, and the author's own fatal illness — was waged with enormous intelligence and fortitude, and even with flair. At the heart of the book — and depicted with pitiless candor — is the tortuous bond of love between mother and daughter. That at the end of her brief life, Janet Hobhouse could transform her suffering into a confession so precise and evocative and singularly unselfpitying, so strangely full of verve, strikes me as a considerable moral as well as literary achivement.
— Philip Roth
A stunning heartbreaker of a book, shot through with pellucid sadness...an extraordinary last book in which Hobouse's pain is as insistent—and lustrous—as her craft.
— Daphne Merkin, Los Angeles Times
A sad, beautiful—and profoundly affecting—meditation on love and death and family.
— Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
A sort of Jamesian journey through the labyrinth of the narrator's consciousness, a finely tuned, highly intelligent, witty, self—examining and haunted instrument...This is an intense tale, told at fever pitch. Grab your hat and hang on for the ride.
— The Boston Globe