Title: White Mule
Author: William Carlos Williams
Page Count: 240
I’m not really sure what I was expecting going into this book, but I’m pretty sure it was something different to what I actually got. Fortunately, that wasn’t a problem, and it turns out that Williams’ prose is almost as powerful as his poetry.
One thing that I wasn’t expecting from this was for it to be so intense. In fact, there’s a massive trigger warning here for anyone who might be upset by cruelty to babies, although there’s an argument to be made that it’s not cruelty, it’s just indifference.
The story itself is basically about a Dutch immigrant family in New York, trying to pursue the American dream. The wife keeps having a go at the husband and attacking his manhood by saying that he needs to ask for a pay rise but he hasn’t got the guts. The husband keeps saying that if he gives the company an ultimatum and they fire him, the whole family will be out on the streets.
But to be honest, I spent the majority of the book feeling sorry for their baby and hoping that social services would come along and rescue her. But I guess parenting was very different back in the day and it was perfectly fine for mothers to carve out soap and shove it up a baby’s bottom.