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The Home-Maker, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Persephone #7 (on sale now--see note below). The Home-Maker, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, is a 1924 novel that was included in the collection, Five Hundred Great Books by Women. Set in small-town New England, it is the story of Evangeline, an obsessively house-proud mother and home-maker who renders each of her children miserable in different ways, through her perfectionism and her need to control; without realizing it, she is frustrated and bored - yet she thinks she is a good and devoted mother. Lester, her husband, is also unhappy, at home and at work. It is only when he falls off a roof that his family's life changes; he is wheelchair-bound at home and his wife goes to work in a department store. The children gradually blossom; all sorts of practical ruses are devised (like covering the kitchen floor with newspaper when Evangeline leaves each morning); and a Montessori Father is born. Novelist Carol Shields call it 'a remarkable and brave novel.’ Important note: This title is one of the 12 Persephone Classics, which are all ON SALE for £7.50 (instead of £10) until March 10, 2018. If you plan on ordering this book from Persephone, do so soon to take advantage of the discount.

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Public Group

Initiated in 2013 and always welcoming new members, this book club is grounded on the titles published by Persephone Books, a small, independent book publisher (and bookshop) located in the Bloomsbury area of London. They reprint fiction and non-fiction books written by forgotten (mostly female, mostly British) authors of the twentieth century and they are amazing! All the books are identical in their elegant grey binding ("a guarantee of a good read"), but the collection is eclectic, unusual and often surprising. If you are into feminism, literature, history and/or Anglophilia, you should join us!

We are making our way through the current catalog of 122 titles. As of this year, our discussions have led us to begin reading books from other publishers, as well. We do try to choose books that sustain Persephone's original, specific vision: “Memorable plots with strong themes and gripping characters … centered on the home and the overlooked details in life.”

PLEASE NOTE: Participation in the club requires a small investment in purchasing the books each month (they are about $25 each month for the book, which ship from London) but you can also find some of them used or through the library. A few also are available as e-books. We generally meet at small coffee shops or restaurants on the North Side of Chicago, so there will be the cost of purchasing food and/or beverages as well.

(For more information about Persephone Books, go to: )

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