The book WORKING FOR LOVE was written by Tessa Dahl. It has 151 pages and was first published in 1988 by Joseph, London. I've read the second publication, published in 1989 by Penguin books Great Britain.
The story takes place particularly in London, Great Britain, but also in America (New York and Florida)
The story takes place in this time, the main character, Molly, tells the story of her life, I think she must be about fifty right now. The story takes place from +/- 1960 till 1988. Although the time in which the story takes place isn't very important.
The language was very pleasant to read. I was surprised about my own English vocabulary, I didn't know that I knew so many words. I could understand everything, which was really great.
Molly is the second child of Rachel and Roald Dahl. Their first child Mary, was the most beloved one, Molly always stood in her shadow. Molly tries hard to get in favour of her father, but nothing seems to work, Mary is prettier, sweeter, and better in anything then Molly is. When Molly gets a little brother, Mathew, she feels totally out of the picture. Her mother was a busy, famous actress and her father was becoming a famous writer. Although their busy life's they're quite happy. Until Mary dies because of the measles…
Roald becomes a very sad and cold man because of the dead of his most beloved daughter. Molly tries everything to look like Mary but it was hopeless, e.g. Mary was always singing songs with her father, but Molly can't sing. She feels really useless. When her mother gets a heavy stroke, Molly realizes that her father needed someone to take over the household, so she takes that part, trying to make her father love her. She becomes a real mother for her little brother and a caring wife for her father. As if everything isn't bad enough, Molly's half-paralyzed mother is pregnant. A woman who behaves like a child is giving birth to one.
She gets a little sister, Fanny, a really adorable girl. Molly's part as a mother is needed more and more, and she loves it, until she gets anorexia and faint while cooking a meal for her father. Her father realizes that she will loose her childhood if she goes on like this, so he sent her to a boarding school. Molly doesn't have a nice time on this school, and when she comes home every weekend, she feels not very welcome. She becomes a woman, and because she didn't get much love from her father, she now tries to find it in a man. She gets a lot of men, but they didn't really love her, she was only right for sex. When she founds out that her father was cheating her mother, she was so upset that she left the house, and goes to a man called Peter. That was the biggest mistake of her life because he slaps the hell out of her. Once, when she tried to go back home, he slaps her almost till she is unconscious and calls her father to pick her up. When she's home again, her father's mistress takes really good care of her, Molly thinks she does that to keep her mouth shut and she's right. But her mother does find out her husband is cheating on her and leaves. After a while Molly gets to know another man called Jack. He's a rich, good looking nice man and Molly really thinks she has found "the one". She would do everything for this man if only he loves her, and they marry. After a few years she isn't as happy as in the beginning, Jack wants to control her, dominate her, tell her what's right and wrong, and live her by his rules. He tells her that she's worth nothing without him, and that she can't live a life on her own, and she believes it.
She's totally depended of him, does everything to receive just a bit of love but it is never enough.
He leaves her a few times and also comes back, saying he's sorry for everything he has done to her. She finds out that he needed her as much as she needs him and start to get control of her life. Jack can't live with a grown up woman, he needs to dominate, he can't live without having control. She decides not being a part anymore of his game and when he leaves her again, he can't come back again.
The book ends with:
I followed you Jack. My eyes were filling with tears.
'Molly, grow up.'
And I did, eventually. And you didn't like it, did you, Jack?
But I do.
I really do.
Molly is a really pretty and sweet woman. She's addicted to love of men; she can't live without it. She always felt that her father doesn't really love her and that has hurt her terribly. When she gave up fighting for her father's love, she started fighting for the love of other men.
Not realising that she wouldn't get what she was looking for (what you search isn't what you shall find) she suffered and suffered until she founds out this wasn't the right way of living, and starts to love and accept herself.
Roald is a really strong but also little weird man. His wife earned the money and he sang songs with Mary and tells stories in the garden to his children. Although he seems a man who does everything well thought, he's a very sensitive man who's having a hard time to express his feelings. He can't just hold his children and say he loves them, but I think he does love them.
Jack seems a man who has everything under control and is totally happy with himself. But that's just for outsiders, he might be a good businessman but he knows nothing about 'people management', he has really low social instincts, does everything for money and nothing for people. Molly covers this side of him, because that's her strong side. That's why he needs her so much.
I really love this book because it tells a lot about being a woman. I think that a lot of women recognise themselves in Molly (as I do), because we all need love, and even want to fight for it. I was really touched by one sentence in the book, what a fortune-teller said to molly:
'Remember Molly, anyone who makes you work for their love is not worthy of it.' I think the only real love will just happen to you, you don't have to search for it, it'll come to you. And when you've found it, you don't have to do anything to please your love, just existing must be enough. You see, I really loved to read this book and it didn't took me long, for about 4 hours. I would certainly recommend this book to my female classmates, because I think they would recognise themselves too in this book, but only if they had some experiences with love already. My male classmates wouldn't be interested in this book, because they're not grown up enough for it.
Tessa Dahl lives in the country, close to where her father Roald Dahl lived, with her three children and two dogs. Her ambition is to be a midwife. She has worked as an actress, model and PR girl before turning to writing and journalism. Her articles have appeared in Vogue, Living, House and Garden, Woman's journal and You Magazine. Working for Love is her first novel and it's part autobiographical and part fiction. Tessa doesn't blame anyone, because they made her who she is right now.
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