The Summer Before the Dark

The Summer Before the Dark A middle aged woman s search for freedom this is classic Lessing here given a stunning new image Her four children have flown her husband is otherwise occupied and after twenty years of being a go

  • Title: The Summer Before the Dark
  • Author: Doris Lessing
  • ISBN: 9780586088999
  • Page: 456
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Summer Before the Dark

    A middle aged woman s search for freedom, this is classic Lessing, here given a stunning new image Her four children have flown, her husband is otherwise occupied, and after twenty years of being a good wife and mother, Kate Brown is free for a summer of adventure She plunges into an affair with a younger man, travelling abroad with him, and on her return to England, meeA middle aged woman s search for freedom, this is classic Lessing, here given a stunning new image Her four children have flown, her husband is otherwise occupied, and after twenty years of being a good wife and mother, Kate Brown is free for a summer of adventure She plunges into an affair with a younger man, travelling abroad with him, and on her return to England, meets an extraordinary young woman whose charm and freedom of spirit encourages Kate in her own liberation Kate s new life has brought her a strange unhappiness, but as the summer months unfold, a darker, disquieting journey begins, devastating in its consequences.

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      Posted by:Doris Lessing
      Published :2019-01-18T14:11:56+00:00

    One thought on “The Summer Before the Dark

    1. Samadrita

      Before it all slips away from my feeble psychological grasp, before the after-effects start wearing off, let me write it all out. About the summer before the dark.The first thing that struck me while reading was this - Fuck purple prose. Or red or maroon or magenta prose for that matter. (And I say this in full acknowledgement of the fact that my prose is often closer to purple than any other color.) Screw post-modernism and its deliberate way of being obtuse, obscure, snarky. Screw all that.Bec [...]

    2. Cheryl

      The summer before the dark left me wondering what happened the summer after the dark. This seems more like a summer of awakening for Kate, a summer of light and experience, even when she is at her lowest moments. This is unlike Lessing's other novels I've read and I wonder if this could be a good place to start, if you haven't read a Lessing novel, or if it doesn't fully encapsulate her uniqueness as a writer. I'm not sure. On my book jacket, The Economist lists this as a "masterpiece." I can't [...]

    3. Nelson Zagalo

      Foi o primeiro livro de Lessing que li, depois de ter procurado durante algum tempo por onde começar a ler a autora. As recomendações apontam quase exclusivamente numa direção, “The Golden Notebook” (1962), mas do que ia lendo sobre a obra, ia-me afastando cada vez mais, o que me fez procurar outras obras. O que se seguia era a série de cinco livros, ainda dos anos 1950 e 60, “Children of Violence”, mas não me apetecia iniciar uma série de uma autora que desconhecia, não sendo s [...]

    4. Ludmilla

      Arka kapağı okuyunca klasik "kocasını terk ederek mutluluğu genç aşığında bulan ve bunun için cezalandırılan kadın" hikayesi okuyacaksınız sanıyorsunuz ama Lessing bu, o kadar basit olur mu? Bir kadının kendini istemeye istemeye zincirlerinden koparma çabasını izliyoruz, kitabı bana göre etkileyici ve gerçekçi yapan da bu. Normalde bu tarz filmler, kitaplar okurken hep şu olur: Kahramanımız çok isteklidir, çok azimlidir, dış engeller bir şekilde alt edilir ve mu [...]

    5. Libbie

      After drudging through page after page of Mrs. Michael Brown's good hair and bad hair, I ask myself the very same words so often uttered by the beautiful, pot-smoking, dancing waif Maureen: "'what's the point?'"

    6. Callie

      I deeply admire Doris Lessing. I love that she gives weight to women's lives, thoughts, emotions, opinions, experience. Her novels are treasures in my view. I have to quote some of what she says about motherhood."With three small children, and then four, she had had to fight for qualities that were not even in her vocabulary. Patience. Self discipline, Self control. Self abnegation. Chastity. Adaptability to others--that above all. This always. These virtues, necessary for bringing up a family o [...]

    7. Kate

      This book is perhaps too character-driven. (Stop dreaming and go get your hair done, you pathetic old bat!) And yet, I was struck by how much I could relate to Kate Brown--the capable wife/mother who reluctantly embarks on the standard issue midlife crisis, and returns to her London suburb only after an exhausting series of salty pan-Euro adventures. Doris Lessing showers her reader with all imaginable foils of Kate Brown--all, that is, except the one I wanted most to meet: the Kate who had lear [...]

    8. Sofía (Софья)

      Дорис Лессинг написала глубокую книгу о смысле жизни. Ага, именно об этом - о том, чего нет :). Так или иначе, в один прекрасный день 45-летняя англичанка из небедной семьи задумалась о смысле своей жизни: дети выросли и заняты своими интересами, муж в постоянных разъездах и с ра [...]

    9. Galina

      Дорис Лесинг върна разклатената ми в романа вяра. Силно, прецизно слово, изчистено от излишното и оголено до същината на онова, което наричам истински добра литература."Лятото преди мрака" печели на два фронта. На първо място е фактът, че по много мъжки начин се влиза в женск [...]

    10. Fenixbird SandS

      This is wonderfulShe (Kate Brown) is 1/4 Portugese married to a lovely Englishman for many years & now at age 45 finds herself suddenly called into active duty as a bona fide Portugese translatord into a new lifestyle.At Chapter 2 she is embarking on travel to Istanbul, Turkey.I am already amazed at the clever opportunities that this author uses!On the cover of my 1968 printed paperback I found and bought from Bookmans, also The Golden Notebook is also being promoted! I fear the lead charact [...]

    11. Anukriti

      Drinking Wine is an entire experience. Technically it is just rotten grapes mixed with yeast, but practically, it is much more than that. It is an event to be savoured. Tasting wine involves a series of steps so that one can enjoy it fully. First, you look at it, to evaluate its colour and clarity, then you swirl it, so that aroma is released which enables you to smell it. Older wines have subtler aroma than younger wines. Next, you taste it, you swish it in your mouth, hold it there for five to [...]

    12. Kaylie

      For a long time, feminism was considered radical. In fact, many people still think it is. (There, I said it). The term’s connotation has been warped due to media, politicians, the patriarchy, societal expectations, the list goes on. Consequently, it’s no wonder that some believe feminism equates to hating men. While some individual feminists may in fact hate men, there is a difference between being a feminist and a misandrist. By definition, a feminist is a person who believes all people, re [...]

    13. Stephen Durrant

      This is my first foray into Doris Lessing, 2007 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (and it confirmed my suspicion that Margaret Atwood is the one who should have won the award). Well, one is supposed to rate a book according to one's own idiosyncratic taste, especially on a semi-private forum like this. Hence, three stars. I do, however, admire the genius of this book, as well as Lessing's strong feminist message ("feminist" does seem something of an oversimplification for the complexity o [...]

    14. Jen

      The Summer Before The Dark is a great critique of femininity, marriage and the family as an institution - and a celebration of ideas of freedom, the self and how to live a previously unlived life. The heroine is forty-five.Most books both by and about women are coming-of-age tales with ingenue protagonists. Even supposedly feminist novels tend to reinforce the idea that a woman’s life hinges on her youth and desirability. This book is a coming-of-age tale in its own right, except that it’s a [...]

    15. Magdelanye

      Timing is all, and it seems like on first reading I completely missed the richness of the insights recorded in this short book. Skimming through it as a young adult, I could not imagine myself bogged down by such a miasma of self-deception as the narrator slogged her way through in search of her own authentic self.I certainly was never going to allow myself to be blinkered!Suffice to say, now that I am the age of the protagonist,I marvel at her courage and i found myself completely engaged by he [...]

    16. Hrrostami

      به نظر من که کتابی کسل کننده بود که کشش لازم را نداشت. و از وسطای داستان خواندنش را نیمه تمام گذاشتم

    17. Ritu

      I am at a loss for words. I'll be honest - I did not get much of what Doris Lessing was talking about yet - maybe - I feel exactly like she wants me to. Kate is searching. Kate is looking. At herself. At how people perceive her. And it is taking a toll on her. This was something I felt in a refined way after I finished Fire on the Mountain by Anita Desai. Reading Doris is unsettling in a crude way. It's too real. There's no point to it all. There's no storyline meandering to come to a conclusion [...]

    18. Jaclyn Michelle

      wineandabook/2014/04/15/reGENERAL SPOILER ALERT: If you’ve never read The Summer Before the Dark, and would like to discover it with no previous knowledge of the plot, I suggest you stop here. Since it was published in 1973, and because Lessing is a NOBEL PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR, I’m writing with the assumption that I’m the one late to the party (which is usually the case) and many of you lovers of literary fiction have probably either read it already or are super familiar with the plot. So, [...]

    19. Nathan

      This feels a lot like a long form version of what is arguably Lessing's best short story, "To Room Nineteen". Make no mistake, the short story is better. The degeneration of Susan Rawlings is a lot more rapid and powerful than Kate Brown's brief break from reality. The rage is a lot more subdued in The Summer Before the Dark and Lessing is her most poignant and piercing when she's angry. And "To Room Nineteen" has one of the darkest, most bitter endings I've ever read, whereas The Summer Before [...]

    20. Sandy

      Kate Brown is a 45-year-old London housewife and mother of four young adults who finds herself at a loose end. Neither her husband nor her children--all of whom are immersed in their own interests and do not spare her much thought at all--need her. She takes a job with an international civil service organization called Global Foods, the primary purpose of which is to host lavish conferences for well-heeled, jet-setting civil servants who are about as connected to the native workers they represen [...]

    21. ممدوح رزق

      ربة المنزل التي تسعى لإنقاذ أحلامها من الضياع والموت بعد أن تحولت إلى مجرد زوجة وأم المرأة التي عاشت تجارب مختلفة في كثير من القصص القصيرة والأفلام السينمائية والروايات لعل أجمل هذه التجارب بالنسبة لي حينما كانت هذه المرأة هي ( دورا ) في القصة الرائعة للكاتبة الإيطالية ( أنج [...]

    22. Sharon T

      While the theme certainly resonated with me, and I found myself littering the book with scraps to mark ideas and observations that connected to my life personally, or were interesting in a feminist-time-capsule kind of way, or that represent some fundamental truth about women's existence in general today, I nonetheless found the book somewhat of a tedious chore. Too much "tell", not enough "show". That said, the novel provides ample food for thought about one's role (in a family, in society), wh [...]

    23. Ideath

      Picked this up because i saw Lessing's name in a list of british sci-fi writers who are under-read in the US. Didn't realize that i was getting a book from before she veered into the genre (didn't realize that there had been a veer). So far, enjoying its subjectivity -- it is less surreal and mysterious than On a Dark Night I Left My Silent House, but i feel like they are closely related.Living in the head of a woman of another time (mid 20th Century) is alien enough that it might as well be sci [...]

    24. Liza

      After an aborted attempt at the Golden Notebook in my 20s I've kept away from Doris Lessing. When she was awarded the nobel prize I thought I should try her again, and this was all the local bookshop had from her 'oeuvre'. There are some devastatingly accurate chapters on becoming a middle-aged woman, but it lacked structure and meandered (boringly) in the second half.

    25. Holly

      wowsers thought provoking indeed this book has so much going on via the narrative that a second read is mandatory. lessing takes onthe biggest subjects nonchallantly and then hits you straight on with truthfulness that is breathtaking in its simplicity

    26. Erin

      I really did not understand the main character and the 'journey' she was making in this novel. Her choices did not make sense to me.

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