RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 33333338 LA English T1 Rumer Godden revisited A1 Rosenthal, Lynne Meryl., PB Twayne Publishers ; Prentice Hall International PP New York; London YR 1996 SN 0805779302 9780805779301 AB The Indian proverb that inspired the title of Rumer Godden's third (and, to date, final) memoir, published in 1989, likens people to houses with four rooms, each of which represents a primary aspect of the self: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. "Most of us," Godden writes, "tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person." In her art as well as her life, Godden has placed a high value on personal striving for completion, that is, for the discovery of the real and mature self. Lynne Rosenthal, in this study of Godden's fiction for children and adults, shows how her dozens of works in both genres explore the "variety of experiences in which self-transformation occurs through an act of will." The focus of Rosenthal's study is the figure of the child, which Godden uses in her fiction "as a powerful mirroring image, reflecting many of society's most profound fears, struggles, and hopes for redemption." Godden returns again and again in her work to the theme of the conflicting needs of children and adults. Her contemplation of this theme - particularly as it relates to the female artist and mother - predates the feminist fiction writers and critics who emerged in the early 1970s. Sympathetic from personal experience to the needs of both conflicted parent and dependent child, Godden arrives at no easy resolution of the problem. She is thoroughly sensitive to the suffering caused in children by parental neglect, yet, surprisingly, she often shows the absence of a parent to be ultimately liberating, freeing a child to undertake the journey toward completion that Godden so values. In adult novels such as An Episode of Sparrows, The Greengage Summer, and Pippa Passes, and even more consistently in such books for children as The Diddakoi, The Dolls' House, Mouse House, and Thursday's Children, the independent struggle for personal fulfillment is rewarded.