Fiction, Finding Your Self, Jolley-Elizabeth

#582 The Newspaper of Claremont Street by Elizabeth Jolley

The Newspaper of Claremont Street by Elizabeth JolleyThe Newspaper of Claremont Street by Elizabeth Jolley

Weekly is called “Weekly” or “Newspaper.” She is called that because her clients often get her news solely through her, but her name isn’t really Weekly, it’s Margie, and she cleans houses for a living. Weekly lives on Claremont street, among the houses she cleans. She lives in one room of a house. That’s all she has. Her mother is dead and she never got married. She had a brother at one point, but he’s gone. Weekly is alone, besides a cat called Crazy, who occasionally shares Weekly’s room when there’s a brand new batch of kittens.

Weekly has been saving up her money for a while. She doesn’t want to be a maid anymore. She wants to have her own place. Her small mountain of money grows. Weekly expected to live alone when she went, but finds that she will not be alone. Weekly realizes something–no one would miss her terribly and she doesn’t matter to anyone she knows. It is for this reason that Weekly relents to not living entirely alone in her new home.

She is able to give up her life of being the newspaper and become just herself.

What I liked

This was an interesting book. It’s set in Australia, but it’s not overly evident that it’s set in Australia. This book could be set in any country. The situation would be fairly similar no matter what flag flies over the capitol building. I liked that Weekly got what she wanted and that she was a little softened up in the process.

What I didn’t like

I don’t find Weekly to be a very sympathetic character. She’s not overly remarkable. I like her determination, but she’s not something any of us would buddy up with. She’s stern in her way. She does soften up through the course of the story, but she’s still not someone you would cry much over. It’s not a rule that the protagonist of a story has to be someone you would cry over, but it’s generally a thing. If the main character of the story were to happen to up and die, the reader is generally sad about it. If Weekly died, I don’t know that I would be that sad.

She’s lived a hard life and a large part of it was her own choosing. She could have done something different. She could have become someone different, but she chose to be The Newspaper of Claremont Street.

Overall

I hope her life out in the country turned out well.

Weigh In

If a persona alienates other people their entire life, should you be sad when they die?

How do you imagine Weekly’s life turned out after moving?

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2 thoughts on “#582 The Newspaper of Claremont Street by Elizabeth Jolley”

    1. I think this is a great observation. It is sad to live an entire life shutting people out. That person, or people, would have missed out on a lot in life.

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