- The Good Apprentice
infobox Book |
name = The Good Apprentice
language = English
Chatto & Windus
release_date = 1985
media_type = Print (Hardback &
pages = 522pp
isbn = ISBN 0670809403
"The Good Apprentice" is the 22nd novel by
Iris Murdoch, first published in 1985.
Edward Baltram, a college student living in
London, gives his best friend Mark a sandwich laced with a hallucinogenic drug for a joke. After Mark, still high, falls to his death from a window, Edward is wracked with guilt and depression — worsened by daily letters from Mark's mother cursing him as a murderer.
In search of his father, Jesse, Edward sets off for Seegard, the family home, away from the harsh reality of London. As Edward progresses through the novel, he revives somewhat, thanks to the love of his eccentric father and his extended family of supportive women. He eventually finds, however, that he must come to terms with Mark's death.
Meanwhile, Edward's step-brother Stuart Cuno decides to give up his studies and goes in search of the "pure" life of an
aesthete, to his family's bewilderment.
While Edward seeks redemption and Stuart salvation, another character seeks love. Midge McCaskerville is having an affair with her husband's best friend, Harry Cuno - stepfather to Edward and father to Stuart. Her passionate love affair comes to a head after two years when she is disgraced publicly and falls unexpectedly in love with Stuart. Left with a difficult decision, Midge turns to Edward for support.
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