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November 23, 2021


#Novella 2022 Elizabeth Jolley

by NancyElin



Quick Scan:

  1. The story is about a woman (“Weekly”)
  2. who works cleaning houses for people
  3. ..but who has a life long wish.
  4. Strong point: tension
  5. Ms Jolley creates tension in the story because the reader
  6. WANTS to know what the wish is!
  7. Strong point: relatable character
  8. The major character Margarite Morris is relatable.
  9. Ms Jolley creates  vulnerability in her  character by 
  10. …giving her a burning desire for something.
  11. Will this desire overcome “Weekly” and
  12. …drive her to extremes…to a disaster?
  13. Strong point: structure
  14. Ms Morris’s life revolves.
  15. The story is not in chronological order.
  16. Just like many women…while busy cleaning house your thoughts drift
  17. off and “Weekly” revisits her  family situation,
  18. siblings, and her clients
  19. …on Claremont Street.



  1. I enjoyed the wit and life lessons Ms Jolley revealed in Margarite.
  2. She is lonely and emotionally alienated from their surroundings.
  3. Margarite lives in an imaginatively friendlier world
  4. ….saving her money for her big wish.
  5. Ms Jolley also describes how
  6. “She is trapped.”
  7. She was overcome by the unfairness in the world.” (pg 154)
  8. The reader is waiting for the moment when “Weekly”
  9. …will break the unchangeable pattern that is her life.
  10. This novella really packs a lot into a short space.
  11. It is dense enough to allow the reader to
  12. fully inhabit another world,
  13. …but short enough to be read in one sitting.
  14. What’s not to love?
  15. #MustRead
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 24 2021

    I have struggled to read Jolley over the years, but this is the second Jolley novella reviewed this month – so perhaps that’s a better place for me to start.

    • Nov 25 2021

      Not sure if I’ll read E. Jolley again…it lacks a spark that sets off my reading desire.
      A book I DID enjoy was the ALL the short stories by Jessica Anderson in a very small collection
      “Stories From the Warm Zone”
      Absolute delight…with some biographical tidbits (the 3 sisters = the Anderson sisters!)

      • Nov 25 2021

        I read Anderson’s novel The Commandant a few backs & loved it. Have been meaning to read more ever since.

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