Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To use the Information icon…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Wootton, J. (2013). Pieces of Molly: An Ordinary Life (2012) by Judith Gurney, published by Matador. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 7(3):298-302.

(2013). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 7(3):298-302

Book Reviews

Pieces of Molly: An Ordinary Life (2012) by Judith Gurney, published by Matador

Review by:
Jenny Wootton

Pieces of Molly, is a memoir, an autobiographical narrative of “an ordinary life”. It features the first ten years of childhood reconstructed from memories, musings, and mysteries, presented in a series of chronologically organised essays, each a “piece” in its own right while being intimately connected by interwoven themes to the whole.

The narrative is presented in story form with each chapter having a synoptic heading reminiscent of eighteenth century literature and an extract from a guide to tapestry maintenance. These two motifs link past events in Molly's life with the on-going work of reconstruction and conservation which is the task of all storytellers. They also refer the reader to the symbolic meaning of the unwritten narrative which works unseen, like the backing of the tapestry. The story, like the eponymous Molly, is damaged, is in pieces, and requires holding together.

This then, is a complex narrative which works simultaneously on several levels. It can be read simply as a drama set in the rural England of seventy years ago, or as a mystery, with Molly the recipient of a baleful inheritance and her parents the unwitting protagonists in a plot as twisted as a modern detective novel. At a deeper level, the memoir is an allegory: a journey from innocence, through sin, guilt, and understanding, towards a partial reconciliation. It is also a deeply reflective, developmental narrative, which will feel familiar to any who have spent time attempting to review a troubled past from the perspective of a differently organised present.


[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.