This entry in the Children of Violence series has Martha fed up with her life in Africa and desiring an escape to England. As she is "Landlocked," she cannot get true independence and is left with friends she is growing distant from and a Communist ideology she is becoming disenchanted with. She spends the majority of the book feeling mentally and spiritually stifled and taking up with various lovers. It is an enjoyable book, just as solid as A Proper Marriage but nothing akin to the masterpiece The Four Gated City. However it sets Martha up well for that final novel, and makes her later transformation believable. It also gives the reader a very stark view of life in WWII South Africa, an area too remote for warfare but always full of the sadness of the time. The Children of Violence novels are a great achievement and should be enjoyed in their entirety, so although this is one of Lessing's less well-known works it would benefit any fan to read it.
The fourth of the five novels that comprise Doris Lessing's Children of Violence series, Landlocked (1965) find's Lessing's autobiographical heroine Martha Quest meandering around as the Second World War enters its last stages and then the early post war years bring the rift between the wartime allies in the West and East. Set between the years 1944 and 1949, when Martha is in her mid and late 20s, it portrays a young woman with no real goal or purpose in life as the great cause of her earlier years, her dedication to radical leftist politics, sputters in the face of cold war hostilities, defections and emigrations, ideological splintering and the alienation of black activists from the white-dominated Communist movement. At this point, Martha's political activities consist mainly of running errands and performing fairly minor tasks like transcribing speeches.
She is still married to Anton Hesse, modeled on Lessing's real-life second husband Gottfried Lessing, but both both...
A heart wrenching book detailing the loss of ideals in the yet young persons in mid-twenties. Best read as a part of the 5 volume "Children of Violence" series.
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