Emergence of New Women in Doris Lessing’s (The Summer before The Dark)
The Summer Before the Dark was first published in 1973. At the time it must have been a very contemporary novel, and perhaps a little controversial, because its central theme is the role of women in society. The main character, Kate Brown, is a domestic goddess who spends one summer rediscovering herself and her place in the world after some 20 years of marriage and motherhood. It might sound like a relatively dull premise for a novel, but in Lessing’s hands the book sings with great storytelling, intellectual insight and drama. Kate Brown is no dull housewife: She’s complex woman suffering what can be best described as empty- “nest syndrome”. Her grown up children are getting on with their lives and her husband is working in America for an extended period, leaving her to her own devices for a summer.
Lessing Doris. The Summer Before the Dark (1973). Harmonds worth: Penguine Book, 1975.
Lessing Doris. Vintage Paper Back., 228 pages July 2009.Madison Univ. of Wisconsin Press., 1983), p.59.