Rating: 1 star
I’d only read a handful of books by Henry James prior to this one, but I enjoyed them. What Maisie Knew was a chore. The premise is horrible – a child used by her divorced parents in a horrible game of revenge, forced into an adult frame of mind she barely understands but somehow manages to embrace. How utterly miserable. There were long passages where nothing happened that were described by James in verbose and repetitive language. It was so drawn out and rambling that I almost didn’t finish it. I don’t like not finishing books, though, so I pushed on to the end. It took me 11 days to get to the end, because I found myself doing anything and everything rather than sitting down to read this monstrosity. More than not knowing how it ended, I’d rather not have read it at all.
There’s a modern film version that stars Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan. Apparently it’s good, if difficult, viewing. I’m never going to find out though. I hate the book too much to sit through a film adaptation.