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Reading “Our Spoons Came from Woolworths”


Our Spoons Came from Woolworths is a welcoming change of gear after the very heavy, nail-biting murder trail account of the Manson Family. I first heard of the book from years ago but have had no luck landing one. No, it’s not about the drug counter at Woolworth store, but surprisingly, it’s listed as a children’s book. Barbara Comyns’s book gives a realistic insight into the life of 1930s bohemian London through its heroine, Sophia Fairclough. It’s a journey into a world of financial despair and failed marriage, but an uplifting switch of setting would provide a relief at the end. The Paris Review notes that the Faircloughs’ poverty has “seemed almost picturesque, but there is nothing romantic about being pregnant and starving.” What stands out about this book, other than the “untutored style,” is that childbirth does not take place offstage outside the book’s main action.


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