Coverart for item
The Resource The watch tower, Elizabeth Harrower ; [introduced by Joan London]

The watch tower, Elizabeth Harrower ; [introduced by Joan London]

Label
The watch tower
Title
The watch tower
Statement of responsibility
Elizabeth Harrower ; [introduced by Joan London]
Creator
Contributor
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Breaking their poses like trees snapping branches, the women urgently regarded each other, cleared away all signs of work in an instant, examined their souls for defects, in a sense crossed themselves, and waited." After Laura and Clare are abandoned by their mother, Felix is there to help, even to marry Laura if she will have him. Little by little the two sisters grow complicit with his obsessions, his cruelty, his need to control. Set in the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney during the 1940s, The Watch Tower is a novel of relentless and acute psychological power
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
Originally published in 1966 in Australia, Harrower's (The Catherine Wheel, 1960, etc.) narrative penetrates the intimate lives of an abuser and his enablers in 1940s Australia. Laura and Clare are emotionally unprepared to fend for themselves, and their father's sudden death and self-indulgent mother's abandonment mark the beginning of a lifetime of permitting others to define their lives. Yanked from boarding school, where Laura had secret aspirations of becoming a physician like her father or a professional singer, Laura's mother enrolls her in business school in Sydney. She and Clare spend hours before and after classes catering to their mother and accepting their lot as their mother's keepers. When Laura graduates at the top of her class, her mother insists she find work near their home, so Laura becomes a typist in a box factory. But soon after, her mother decides to return to England and leave the girls in Australia. That's when 44-year-old factory owner Felix Shaw steps in and offers to marry Laura and care for Clare. Life doesn't drastically change for the sisters: They go from a life of servitude in their mother's home to a life of servitude and abuse in Felix's new mansion. Felix desperately wants to be seen as a mover and a shaker and, just as he's ensnared Laura and Clare, he allows shady business associates to take advantage of him. Felix drinks, and the more he drinks, the more abusive he becomes. While Laura and Clare slowly suffocate and fade into invisibility, each believes in the unimportance of her existence. In fact, Clare's astounded to discover that a co-worker actually has thought about her when she wasn't around. Although the introduction of a new character brings new hope to Clare, reading Harrower's psychological narrative can be as emotionally draining as the lives she describes. Her haunting and delicate writing provides stark contrast to the reality of her characters' situations. Readers who missed this book the first time around will want to read the reprint.(Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2013)
Additional physical form
Also available online.
Awards note
"Winner of the Patrick White Award 1996"--Cover.
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10184152
Cataloging source
ANL
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1928-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Harrower, Elizabeth
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1948-
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
London, Joan
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Text classics
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Australian fiction
  • Sisters
  • Australia
Label
The watch tower, Elizabeth Harrower ; [introduced by Joan London]
Instantiates
Publication
Note
First published by Macmillan 1966
Control code
000048562924
Dimensions
20 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
xiii, 335 p.
Isbn
9781921922428
Isbn Type
(pbk.) :
Label
The watch tower, Elizabeth Harrower ; [introduced by Joan London]
Publication
Note
First published by Macmillan 1966
Control code
000048562924
Dimensions
20 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
xiii, 335 p.
Isbn
9781921922428
Isbn Type
(pbk.) :

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
Processing Feedback ...