Review 1304: Our Spoons Came from Woolworths

It’s typical of Barbara Comyns that she tells a horrifying story in a disarming, naive style. In Our Spoons Came from Woolworths, her theme is an ill-considered marriage.

Sophie marries Charles at 21 despite considerable opposition from his family. They make it plain that they don’t like her, think she isn’t good enough for Charles and that he shouldn’t marry before he can support a wife. They assume she has tricked Charles into marriage by getting pregnant when in reality she knows nothing whatever about sex. The fact that Charles says nothing in response to his family’s insults to his fianceé should have tipped Sophia off, but she’s not very good at picking up on things.

Charles is an artist, and apparently Sophia is meant to support him on her meager salary as a commercial artist. Although he occasionally picks up a contract, most of the time they are just getting by. Getting by, that is, until Sophia soon finds herself pregnant. Slowly, she learns that she has married a self-absorbed man who feels no responsibility toward her or their life.

This may sound like a depressing story, but there is something about its light, naive tone that lifts it up. Instead, it is a charming and funny story of depression-era poverty and a bohemian lifestyle.

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2 thoughts on “Review 1304: Our Spoons Came from Woolworths

    • whatmeread January 15, 2019 / 12:20 pm

      Oh, yes. There is something about her style and story telling. You can’t put her down.

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