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Children of the Market Place   By: (1868-1950)

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Children of the Market Place by Edgar Lee Masters is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that delves deep into the complexities of life and human nature. Set in a small town, the story revolves around a group of children who find solace and understanding within the confines of a local abandoned market place.

Masters' writing style is nothing short of phenomenal, as he effortlessly weaves together a multitude of themes and storylines. The characters are highly relatable, each with their own unique struggles and experiences that shape their personalities. From Tommy, the imaginative dreamer, to Mary, the fiercely independent girl, readers will become deeply invested in their journeys.

One of the strongest aspects of this novel is Masters' exploration of the human condition. He delves into themes such as loneliness, longing, and the search for identity, drawing out the universal human experiences that connect us all. The children's interactions with one another and the complex dynamics of friendship are particularly well-crafted, resonating with readers of all ages.

Furthermore, Masters skillfully addresses societal issues through the lens of childhood innocence. He tackles topics such as poverty, discrimination, and the impact of a rapidly changing world on the younger generation. These issues are seamlessly integrated into the narrative, allowing readers to reflect on the broader implications that they have on society as a whole.

The pacing of Children of the Market Place is impeccable, with each chapter building upon the previous one, gradually revealing layers of depth and complexity. The prose is beautifully crafted, evoking vivid imagery that transports readers directly into the world of the market place and its inhabitants. Masters' attention to detail and his ability to create a strong sense of atmosphere make this novel truly immersive.

While the book does not provide easy answers or resolutions, it prompts readers to reflect on their own experiences and contemplate the human condition. The open-ended nature of the story allows for interpretation and introspection, leaving a lasting impact on the reader.

Overall, Children of the Market Place is a remarkable novel that seamlessly blends literary prowess with social commentary. Edgar Lee Masters' exploration of human nature through the eyes of children is both poignant and profound. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally charged literary experience.

First Page:







I was born in London on the eighteenth of June, 1815. The battle of Waterloo was being fought as I entered this world. Thousands were giving up their lives at the moment that life was being bestowed upon me. My father was in that great battle. Would he ever return? My mother was but eighteen years of age. Anxiety for his safety, the exhaustion of giving me life prostrated her delicate constitution. She died as I was being born.

I have always kept her picture beside me. I have always been bound to her by a tender and mystical love. During all the years of my life my feeling for her could not have been more intense and personal if I had had the experience of daily association with her through boyhood and youth.

What girlish wistfulness and sadness there are in her eyes! What a gentle smile is upon her lips, as if she would deny the deep foreboding of a spirit that peered into a perilous future! Her dark hair falls in rich strands over her forehead in an elfin and elegant disorder. Her slender throat rises gracefully from an unloosened collar. This picture was made from a drawing done by a friend of my father's four months before I was born. My old nurse told me that he was invalided from the war; that my father had asked him to make the drawing upon his return to London... Continue reading book >>

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