Thursday, October 01, 2009

Playing House: A Novel by Fredrica Wagman

When Playing House appeared in 1973, Publishers Weekly hailed it, "A probing descent into madness that will fascinate the same audience that appreciated I Never Promised You a Rose Garden." This nationally bestselling story of one woman's struggle with the lasting effects of a childhood sexual relationship with her brother shocked American readers, and is a literary work of enduring quality and value.

about the author (from Amazon):
My name is Fredrica Wagman, but it wasn't always. I started out as Riki Barris, "Riki" being short for Rita Fredrica, born in Philadelphia where I spent the first four years of my life in my grandparents home with my mother and father and my older brother. It was a great sprawling place where there were maids and my baby-nurse, big cars, a devoted chauffer by the name of I.J. Duckett, and the warmth of aunts and uncles and my grandparents all around us all the time whom I adored.
When I was four we moved into our own small house which was very hard on my mother who was used to all the space and all the help that everyone there could provide. My mother became quite depressed when we moved away from my grandparents and a hard time ensued after that for my brother and me. My father was a dentist, an oral surgeon who specialized in extracting teeth which was a kind of speciality in those days, although barbers were proported to have been doing it for years without all the training and all the honors my father collected at the University of Pennsylvania's dental school.
I attended schools first in the suburbs of Philadelphia and then in the city which was where we moved when I was eleven years old. I was married at a very early age, shamefully early, to Howard Wagman. Had five children, lost one, attended the University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College after the children were born, and was writing fiction and poetry for as long as I can remember.
Fredrica Wagman is the author of six novels -- Playing House, His Secret Little Wife, Mrs. Hornstien, Peachy, and Magic Man, Magic Man --and The Lie, just released in April 2009
my thoughts:
The first Fredrica Wagman book that I read was ‘The Lie’. As disturbing as that book was, ‘Playing House’ was more so. The book is told from the main characters POV, with the main character being involved in a non consensual incestuous relationship with her brother from a very early age. And of course this totally messes with her.
This book is not a quick & easy read. Yes, it is 176 pages long, but I could not sit and read it in one sitting. It was just too much. There were several parts that I had to just skip right over, I couldn’t read it. For me, this book was a dark story, with no happy ending.


kalea_kane said...

I'm glad you shared it, Susie. It does sound like it might be a bit too dark for me too. :)

Help Teach A Child To Read

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library