A reviewer from The Times Literary Supplement described this book as "A sort of bohemian Brideshead Revisited" and that pretty much sums it up. In this case, it's the Goldman family that is in the spotlight comprised of philosophy professor Jacob, his perpetually barefoot and pregnant wife, Jane, and their six children. The family is observed through the eyes of a smart but sheltered young woman, Katherine, who is a student of Jacob’s. This is an avant guarde, almost hippie, family where the conversation is perpetually clever, witty and biting. Sexual matters are spoken of frankly and openly, the children call their parents by their first name and everyone hurls cutting insults at each other without any repercussions. But this is also a quintessentially British book with shades of “jolly hockey sticks” where son Roger is known as Roggs or Roggsie and Jonathon as Jont or Jontakins. If you can get past some of these irritating aspects you will find an incisive, accomplished and intriguing novel.
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