Monday, February 4, 2013
Posted by Simay Yildiz with 1 comment
Author: Murial Sparks
Publisher: Penguin Group
Source: Obtained Turkish translation version from Siren Yayınlari
Romantic, heroic, comic and tragic, unconventional schoolmistress Jean Brodie has become and iconic figure in post-war fiction. Her glamour, freethinking ideas and manipulative charm hold dangerous sway over her girls at the Marcia Blaine Academy – the 'crème de la crème' – who become the Brodie Set, introduced to a world of adult games they will never forget.
I don't think I'd ever get a hold of this book if it wasn't sent to me by its Turkish publisher. And that would've been a shame. Miss Brodie is a teacher at an all-girls school in Edinburgh, and the book takes place right after World War I. She's not like the other teachers, which is why she's not the favorite person of the faculty. And knowing that, she's quite paranoid, often expecting someone to deceive her.
While the other teachers focus on subjects i.e. math, history and geography, Miss Brodie gives life lessons to the six 10-year-old girls she's taken under her wing. Not everyone can get on Miss Brodie's radar either; she chooses her girls carefully, often leaning toward those who are unloved and easily manipulated. The books stretches out to a long period of time where we see the girls when they're 10 years old, and then also get a glimpse of their lives when they're grown women. These six girls are in awe of Miss Broide most of the time, but they also question her beliefs and her ways.
Even though this book was written a long time ago, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie will make you question your own teachers and how they've influenced who you are. You'll realize some of them gave you the information and expected you to shape it to your liking and beliefs, while some of them told you what they think is the truth and insisted you believe it. You'll see how a woman who's proud of being against fascism tried to shape these six girls into the same mold, and how, in a way, creates her own army. In addition, you'll realize that little girls aren't as innocent as they seem, that they can have evil thoughts.
This is a small, fun book, and I think every book nerd needs to read it.