Michèle Roberts: Daughters of the House

(2228 words)

Michèle Roberts' sixth novel is in many ways a return to the semi-autobiographical focus of her first novel, A Piece of the Night (1978), as it also addresses the contradictions of being caught between English and French family histories. The book is intricately structured, divided into three sections and fifty short chapters, each given its title from an inventory of household objects which one of the daughters, Léonie, is making as she waits for her cousin Thérèse to arrive. The brevity of these passages, some as short as a paragraph and others only a few pages long, give the narrative a fragmentary quality. This structure, together with the complex time-frame of the story as it darts from present to …

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White, Rosemary. "Daughters of the House". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 June 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5733, accessed 01 July 2015.]