Monday, December 15, 2008


I've raved about NYRB re-issues before, and I'll do so again.

The Fountain Overflows is a delightful novel. It's got the thematic heft of Henry James, but is stylistically more in line with Dickens or Austen. I laughed a lot and stopped often to admire West's wit and evocative prose. Though a novel for adults, this is the best recreation of childhood I've read in quite some time. The main characters are surly, mean-spirited little girls who are brilliant and penniless and vividly imagined. I love the parents and the peculiar plot line, with its multiple climaxes and resolutions. And there's a great haunting, perhaps the best poltergeist scene in any novel I've encountered. I wish I had time to write more,* and time to re-read it right away--it's that good. And I found it at Daedalus in Towson for $3.98!

*I want to write a paper about West and Henry James.** I have to find her book on The Master now.

**That'll be the day!

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