A Song Of Sixpence by A J Cronin

Archibald Joseph Cronin ( A J Cronin) has been one of my favourite authors even since my encounter with his ‘The Keys of the Kingdom‘. Though I read it just like any other novel, my respect and admiration for this author has increased more after reading a few of his other works including his autobiography – Adventure in Two Worlds…A book by A J Cronin looked like the right medicine after reading the gloomy ‘Never Let Me Go’ and my choice proved correct.

Just like most of his books which depicts the story of a poor protagonist who strives hard to overcome his poor financial state, this book depicts the life of young Laurence Caroll who finds himself in a similar state.

The age of Laurence Caroll is not clear when his father dies after a serious respiratory ailment. Mrs Caroll  tries to take care of his father’s growing business, but manages just enough to meet both ends. Both sides of the families weren’t of much help in their cause. Laurie manages to get some sort of basic education but nothing enough to get him to college. Miss G, their friendly neighbour did inculcate in him an interest in zoology and botony and of course cricket.

 Inspite of all the well wishers around them, Laurence finds himself separated  from his mother due to their poor financial state. Neither he is in any  position to go for a proper education until he meets his old teacher which brings about an unexpected turn in his life.

 My Thoughts

 There is nothing in A J Cronin books which could take the reader by surprise. Mostly his  books are all stories of triump  by common people who are able to rise about  their present prospects by sheer hard work and faith. But I love the way he  narrates the story, and how he puts lives to his characters and how much the readers are able to relate to the characters.

 A Song of Sixpence is a story about hardwork, perservance and above all about simple  human emotions which make the core of a person’s existence  and which makes him/her a human being. The book concentrates more on his almost obssessive love towards his  mother and also about his unending faith in his cousins and family which is fairly exploited very well.

 Laurie’s uncle Mr Leo Caroll is another character who is often described as  a queer character considering that he choose to live in poor circumstances  inspite of his wealth. He believed in leading a life of immense austerity that he was almost starving everyday of his life. There is the other uncle  Bernard who chose to live well above his circumstances always making false promises to Laurie and his mother.

A J Cronin has once again succeeded in depicting even small human emotions through the narration of Laurie Carroll. He has not dwelled too much on the characters, but just enough to give the readers a good picture of them.  I hope to see more of them and Laurie in the sequel A Pocket Full of Rye.
I found this interesting note when I was looking through the first page of the book. I guess the notes speaks for itself.

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5 thoughts on “A Song Of Sixpence by A J Cronin

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