The Peppered Moth

The Peppered Moth

Book - 2001
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Bessie Bawtry is a young girl living in the early 1900s in Breaseborough, a mining town in South Yorkshire, England. Unusually gifted, she longs to escape a life burdened by unquestioned tradition. She studies patiently, dreaming of the day when she will take the entrance exam for Cambridge and be able to leave her narrow world. A generation later, Bessie's daughter Chrissie feels a similar impulse to expand her horizons, which she in turn passes on to her own daughter.

Nearly a century later, Bessie's granddaughter, Faro Gaulden, finds herself listening to a lecture on genetics and biological determinism. She has returned to Breaseborough and wonders at the families who remained in the humble little town where Bessie grew up. Confronted with what would have been her life had her grandmother stayed, she finds herself faced with difficult questions. Is she really so different from the plain South Yorkshire locals? As she soon learns, the past has a way of reasserting itself-not unlike the peppered moth that was once thought to be nearing extinction but is now enjoying a sudden unexplained resurgence.

The Peppered Moth is a brilliantly conceived novel, full of irony, sadness, and humor.

Publisher: New York : Harcourt, 2001.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780151005215
Branch Call Number: DRAB
Characteristics: 369p. 24cm.


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May 24, 2012

I loved this book. I didn't find it at all disappointing, as the library reviews said I would. I've read everything Margaret Drabble has written, and I consider The Peppered Moth one of her best novels, and Bessie Bawtry one of her most interesting characters. Couldn't put it down.

Jan 19, 2012

This was an extremely interesting book - told from the point of view of three women: Grandmother, mother and daughter. Ms Drabble surely has a way with words.


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Aug 07, 2011

Read a good G&M review of a more recent Margaret Drabble book so gave this one which was avaiable a try.


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