Cart
Free Shipping on all orders in the UK
Over 7 million books in stock
We aim to be carbon neutral by 2022
Minding Children By William Wall

Minding Children by William Wall

New RRP £6,99
Condition - Very Good
£3,19
Only 1 left

Summary

A mesmerising second novel by the author of the highly praised ALICE FALLING.

Minding Children Summary

Minding Children by William Wall

Josephine Strane has never known a real family when as a teenager she goes to work for Dr and Mrs Casey, caring for Baby Jean. Soon she has made herself so indispensable that when things go wrong she is able to move on with a glowing reference. Then comes an American couple with their small son Robin, who charms everyone with his laughing blue eyes and cheeky ways - the perfect family. What they do not realise until too late is that Josephine is anything but the perfect child-minder.

Minding Children Reviews

'An even more gripping read [than Alice Falling]...Her actions may be unspeakable but Josephine, with her damaged intelligence and awesome survival instincts, still inspires pity on a huge scale. This alone is a credit to Wall's skill as a storyteller of great power and compassion.' Image Magazine 'William Wall has consolidated the ogrehood with this very fine, disturbing and unputdownable novel ... Wall's language is sheer joy: lyrical and, where required, as devastatingly simple as a nursery rhyme. This was Booker material, way ahead of many of the contenders.' -- Mary Finn, RTE Guide [A] haunting, compelling novel...Wall has succeeded in producing a rare thing: a page-turning work of literary fiction. I was so mesmerised by his narrative, so anxious to read on, that I almost missed some of the brilliance of the writing...Josephine is a magnificent and disturbing creation...I hated her, feared her and pitied her, sometimes all in the space of a paragraph. I always believed in her...I was profoundly impressed by this novel. ItA's ages since I felt so compelled to keep reading. And although I read with a deep sense of foreboding, Wall structures the book in such a clever way that the worst horrors remained at a distance. The details are drip fed to us through the narrative; and we are so clearly in JosephineA's head that her actions donA't seem too appalling. William Wall is, indeed, a wonderful discovery.' Sue Leonard, Books Ireland 'The opening sentence of this study of corrupted innocence is shiver-inducing ... Wall has picked up on one of the major preoccupations of contemporary society, a rare enough event in contemporary fiction ... taut as a thriller, scarifying as a horror story, but finely written and eerily evocative. His prose has a satisfying density - which is, perhaps, to be expected from a successful poet - but its chilling power derives not just what to write, but what to leave unsaid. MINDING CHILDREN is also resolutely uncompromising in its eschewal of glib judgments or pious condemnations. This is a book you won't forget in a hurry.' -- Arminta Wallace, Irish Times '[A] beautifully written novel, with...layers and layers of fine writing like snowdrifts ... The story - so softly that you feel the menace before you ever understand it - thrusts at the heart of motherhood. At its heart, this is a novel about femaleness. About how women experience their world through others, rather than through theorems. It narrates a little-known truth about children: that is how - contrary to popular wisdom - they cannot "always tell", but are often embroiled by those who are most needy, rather than by those who have most to give to them ... The centre of his novel, the damaged Josephine Strane, is so finely tuned that almost on every page you can see the contrary forces ar work within her. Wall brilliantly, relentlessly, reveals how our natural senses of superiority ensure that we can be completely taken in by the simple, good face worn by genuine evil.' Dina Rabinovitch, The Independent 'This is a story that exploits the gap between exterior and interior realities, between the calm of supposed everyday normality and the deadly imaginings within the mind of a disturbed young woman...It is not surprising that William Wall is also a poet: his attention to language and its possibilities comes through in every paragraph. He perfectly matches form to content: his measured prose, calm and deliberate, like his main character Josephine, contains within it a quiet, brooding, menace...Wall's portrait of Josephine is utterly convincing, as are the other characters in the novel...this is an intimate tale, well told, that draws the reader into a world both familiar and frightening.' Derek Hand, The Irish Times 'I enjoyed MINDING CHILDREN enormously, he is such a writer - lyrical and cruel and bold and with metaphors to die for' Kate Atkinson 'A masterful horror story - the chilling tale of a malign hand that rocks the cradle and ruins the world of two separate Irish families in the early 1970s. But Wall is interested in far more than just the horrific, and his compelling study of the fractured childhood of Josephine Strane, and the tragedy it begets, is a more deeply troubling thing indeed ... it is precisely Wall's refusal to paint [Josephine] as a mere sadist that lifts this story above a thriller. Instead, the layered psychopathology that defines Josephine makes her more like a twisted sister to Pat McCabe's Butcher Boy than any cartoonish bogey woman ... a triumphant creation ... I was absolutely persuaded by the lyrical precision of Wall's prose' Anthony Glavin, Sunday Tribune 'There is a pervading sense of rot and trust betrayed which...gets under the reader's skin. The last few chapters really make the flesh creep' Big Issue '[A] beautifully written book ... a real page-turner ... Chilling' Ms London 'A beautifully choreographed "danse macabre" of Catholic guilt and implosive rage ... The prose is eerily economical, full of chilling understatement and demonic ellipses. The less that Wall tells us, the more he suggests - allowing the real horror of the tale to take up residency in the novel's hypnotic gaps. The poetic craft of his work lies in how it suggests the proximity of affection to sadism ... Josephine loves the children in her care: She loves them to death.' Graham Caveney, Express 'A very well-written, disturbing novel ... Wall's description of cruelty is bathed in a kind, lyrical prose, which creates an ambivalence in the reader towards Josephine. His descriptions are wonderfully visual ... His previous book, Alice Falling, about child abuse, was well-received. Expect this one to do every bit as well.' Danny Morrison, Irish Examiner 'Wall constructs his story ably ... He manages to make all his central characters - including Jo - sympathetic and, as matters deteriorate from bad to extremely bad, knowledge of the denouement does not detract from growing unease and sickening anticipation.' Peter Carty, Time Out 'Josephine's troubled inner dialogue with herself is convincingly expressed and elegantly told' Anthea Lawson, The Times 'A confident book, readable and stirring.' John F Deane, Irish Independent 'Wall nods to Hitchcock, portrays an Ireland on the cusp of change and writes convincingly from a female perspective.' -- Guardian 'A clever novel, elegantly written' -- Andrew Morrod, Daily Mail '[A] very fine, disturbing and unputdownable novel' -- Mary Finn, RTE Guide 'Taut as a thriller, scarifying as a horror story, but finely written and eerily evocative ... a book you won't forget in a hurry' -- Arminta Wallace, Irish Times 'I enjoyed MINDING CHILDREN enormously, he is such a writer - lyrical and cruel and bold and with metaphors to die for' -- Kate Atkinson '[A] haunting, compelling novel...Wall has succeeded in producing a rare thing: a page-turning work of literary fiction.' -- Sue Leonard, Books Ireland 'An even more gripping read [than Alice Falling]...a storyteller of great power and compassion.' -- Image Magazine [A] beautifully written novel, with...layers and layers of fine writing like snowdrifts...Wall brilliantly, relentlessly, reveals how our natural senses of superiority ensure that we can be completely taken in by the simple, good face worn by genuine evil.' -- Dina Rabinovitch, The Independent 'Wall's portrait of Josephine is utterly convincing...this is an intimate tale, well told, that draws the reader into a world both familiar and frightening.' -- Derek Hand, The Irish Times 'A deeply affecting and sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young woman' -- Anne-Marie Flanagan, Irish World 'A clever novel, elegantly written' -- Daily Mail

About William Wall

William Wall is an award winning poet and short story writer, and the author of several works of fiction for children, whose first adult novel, ALICE FALLING, was published by Sceptre in 2000. His work has appeared in The Irish Times, New Irish Writing and has been broadcast on radio on RTE. He is married with two children and lives in Co. Cork, Ireland.

Additional information

GOR007674774
9780340751909
0340751908
Minding Children by William Wall
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Hodder & Stoughton General Division
2001-08-16
200
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Minding Children