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A Lifetime Burning Paperback – 6 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (6 April 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1482637359
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482637359
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 497,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda Gillard is the author of seven novels and she lives in the Scottish Highlands.

Linda graduated from Bristol University, then trained as an actress at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Whilst under-employed at the National Theatre, she developed a sideline as a freelance journalist. She ran two careers concurrently for a while, then gave up acting to raise a family and write from home. At the age of 40 she re-trained as a teacher and taught for some years, then moved to the Isle of Skye where she lived for six years, writing full-time.

Linda's first novel, EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY was short-listed for the 2006 Waverton Good Read Award. STAR GAZING was short-listed for "Romantic Novel of the Year 2009" and "The Robin Jenkins Literary Award", the UK's first environmental book award.

Linda's fourth novel, HOUSE OF SILENCE quickly became a Kindle bestseller. It was selected by Amazon UK for their Top Ten "Best of 2011" in the Indie Author category.

UNTYING THE KNOT was awarded a B.R.A.G Medallion by the Book Readers' Appreciation Group, as was CAULDSTANE, Linda's latest bestseller, a gothic novel in the tradition of Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. HOUSE OF SILENCE was recently awarded a third B.R.A.G medallion.

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Review

"An absolute page-turner! I could not put this book down and read it over a weekend." -- Lovereading.com, July '06

"Brilliant in every way, start to finish... The sheer beauty of this book is its biggest recommendation.' -- The Bluestalking Reader (bluestalking.typepad.com), July '06

"Disturbing themes sensitively explored... an emotional avalanche." -- Lochcarron Reading Group, NW Scotland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Linda Gillard lives in the Scottish Highlands and has been an actress, journalist and teacher. She is the author of six novels, including STAR GAZING, short-listed in 2009 for Romantic Novel of the Year and HOUSE OF SILENCE, which became a Kindle bestseller and was selected by Amazon UK as one of their Top Ten "Best of 2011 in the Indie Author category.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
As I write this, I am still thinking about this novel; it has stayed very much in my mind for days since finishing it. It is an enthralling, gripping story of several generations of the Dunbar family, and of forbidden, hopeless love that has tragic consequences. At the heart of the novel are twins Flora and Rory. Flora describes Rory as `my twin brother, my childhood companion, the other half of my life, the other half of my self', bringing to mind the feelings Cathy has about Heathcliff in `Wuthering Heights', of one not being whole without the other. I think it would be wrong to reveal much of the plot and themes here, as it adds so much to the experience of reading this novel if you discover it all for yourself page by page. Suffice it to say that the relationship between Flora and her nephew Colin, which is revealed in the synopsis of the novel, is by no means the only unorthodox pairing here. Music plays an important role in the book, with Rory emerging as a talented pianist, leaving Flora in his shadow. And endeavouring to be good, and `the possibility of loving and being loved in return', drives Flora and Hugh in particular.

The structure is inspired; the novel covers the years from the 1940's until 2000, but it is not a linear narrative, rather the author takes us backwards and forwards in time, and allows us to visit certain moments in the characters' lives. As the reader gets deeper into the novel, events take on new meanings, or more weight is given to a certain conversation or meeting, and truths are revealed. On finishing the book I, like many other readers, was keen to return to the first pages and read them again, knowing what I then knew, and understanding so much more.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leri on 16 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. It's a complex and sad story and a tragedy. I have given it three stars because I can't say I loved it, or I enjoyed it even. It is certainly a good read though. The subject matter is uncomfortable, but I doubt Ms Gillard will make any apology for that. I have to be honest, much as it is difficult to like the characters in the book, by the end you do find some understanding and sympathy or pity for them. I commented part way through that I was struggling to get into it, but there was no way I wouldn't have finished the book.
It certainly has no happy endings and there is a lot of tragedy and uncomfortable situations along the way. Unbelievable to me also, but what do I know, this story convinces you that these characters feel a confusing kind of love, and who am I to argue with it, it clearly doesn't feel wrong to them. And that is their lifetime struggle.
I am off to read another book, that I hope will be a bit happier. :-)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cara L. Strachan on 25 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A compelling, beautifully tragic read conveying some dark secrets about human nature, jealousy, envy and, above all, love. I found the book difficult to part with and at times like watching a tragic accident unfold - unable to watch yet to captivated to turn away. The torment in the book was very powerful even months after reading it I can recall the emotions it evoked. Despite this talk of a dark emotions, moods and torment overall I found it a beautiful read. The feeling that the characters were almost trapped on these paths - probably because the story is retrospective - did not remove the need to continue to follow these characters and watch their stories unfold like the petals of a blossoming flower. This was my first introduction to Linda Gillard's writing and I am very grateful to have made the discovery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa-W on 25 April 2013
Format: Paperback
As others have said, on finishing this novel I did indeed turn back to the beginning. It's almost a compulsion to do so. It's a very evocative story that will make you feel and feel and you'll keep feeling (and thinking) after it's finished. The subject matter is very sensitive and yet it's a phenomenon that is far more common than people would have you believe and all praise to Linda Gillard for tackling it and showing it in such a sympathetic light. Illicit love, depression, dark family secrets that bind the family, a never ending spiral where the binds may never be broken...oh, what price keeping those skeletons in the closet?!

Character wise, they are realistic and you can understand why each acts as they do even though you can't always agree with it, which makes for many conflicting emotions whilst you read. They are without doubt, for the most part, selfish and deeply troubled but my overriding feelings were for Flora, for whom I felt such sorrow and sympathy; poor Flora who wanted to be good but by the deeds of others never managed to succeed and so we see a spiralling devastation that haunts the story as does Flora herself.

Very cleverly written in third person, flitting through the years which doesn't give the disjointed appearance it maybe ought to, but in fact gives us a far more intense view into the lives and events that shaped the family; then we have excerpts by Flora herself, giving a fuller picture where we can hear the heartache in her voice and we come to understand the characters more, even if we don't fully sympathise with them.

I could sympathise that the family were in a never ending history of illicit love but the way they dealt with it made me want to shout at the characters sometimes and I did feel that Flora was, unfairly, a scapegoat.

I can promise that you will come out of reading this book feeling wretched and moved and it will stay with you.
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