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A Partisan's Daughter Hardcover – 6 Mar 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker; 1st Edition edition (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846551412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846551413
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.4 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Louis de Bernières is the best-selling author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best Book in 1995. His most recent novels are Birds Without Wings and A Partisan's Daughter and a collection of stories Notwithstanding.

Product Description

Review

`It's a wise and moving novel, perfectly accomplished.' -- The Guardian

`Louis de Bernieres ... strips down the language in this novel to its essential plot' -- Financial Times

`The success of the novel is in its art of covert narration... the novel is intensely moving and has a measured momentum' -- Newindpress

`You'll soon be as captivated by Roza's colourful tale as Chris is'
-- SHE

`a bittersweet love story' -- Tatler

`by the end I was impressed, moved and touched' -- The Spectator

'De Bernieres is a skilful writer, poetic but unforced' -- Daily Telegraph

'De Bernière's mellifluent, clear prose slips through the reader's mind with efficient ease'
-- The Times

'The author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin gives us and bittersweet love story set in Seventies London' -- Tatler

`a bitter-sweet story of missed opportunities'

-- The Good Book Guide

Book Description

A beautifully wrought and unlikely love story, exploring the power of storytelling

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By G. Curtis on 3 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
It can be crippling for a writer when one of their books becomes a worldwide sensation, and with a read like Captain Corelli's Mandolin it was seen as inevitable, however, after reading A Partisans Daughter it doesn't seem as if he has fallen into this category. This book is not only engaging and captivating but also unexpected.
Looking in hindsight at the first few pages, it's misleading. De Bernières introduction provokes a tonal feeling of sexual deviancy and promiscuity due to his prolific referencing to prostitution. The story starts with Chris, a middle-aged man who is trapped in a burnt out marriage. Chris recounts the story of a friend who has told of his experiences with a prostitute. From here De Bernières moves onto Chris' own `experience'. However, Chris' encounter is far from the stories of his friend. He befriends Roza, a Serbian Partisan's Daughter mistaken to be a prostitute, who, instead of having sex with Chris, takes him on a different journey every time they meet. De Bernières descriptive approach enables the reader to fully engage with the story due to his ability to sparingly flesh-out the story, leaving enough for the reader to apply their own unique subjective imagery. Over a long period of time, and with each visit, Roza tells Chris her life story. However, one is never sure whether Chris is there for the stories or there to see Roza; and as the story progresses, it becomes transparent that Chris isn't sure either.
A Partisan's Daughter is written in the form of memoirs, and interchanges from narrator to narrator. De Bernières personal approach lets the reader make their own decision on the characters, rather than an overt third person narrative that can cause detachment, it feels as if the narrators are talking directly to the reader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mick Read on 16 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
I used to buy a packet of button-sized biscuits each topped with a tooth-decaying whirl of variously-coloured rock-solid icing sugar, they were called Little Gems and I loved them. Sadly you can't get them anymore but you can get this instead, a little gem by Louis de Bernieres that is just as delicious and leaves you wanting more, which is just how I like them, rather than overly long like so many otherwise excellent novels.

Back in the 70's and mirroring the country's political crisis in his personal circumstances, Chris is a forty-something travelling salesman who has pretty much given up on the likelihood of any more pleasure let alone excitement in his life, which definitely includes sex with his disinterested wife. One evening, for no apparent reason and seemingly quite out of character, he somehow finds himself sub-consciously in kerb-crawling mode and cack-handedly tries to pick up a girl in North London who he mistakenly decides is on the game. That girl is Roza, one-time hostess-come-prostitute (so Chris might be excused his error), Serbian daughter of one of Titos's partisans and currently inhabitant of a derelict property in Archway. Sequentially confused and then amused by Chris's blunder, and subsequently having put Chris right about her current circumstances, Roza nonetheless gets into his car and, in wonderfully direct and east-European English, tells him to take her home, it is, after all, the least he can do. He dutifully and shamefacedly does as ordered, from which encounter blossoms an acquaintance, leading to a deliciously slow-burning friendship leading to a wonderful Arabian-Nights tale of Roza's life and Chris's fall into basic infatuation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Holland on 24 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
Novella from de Bernieres written in the form of a conversation. Chris is bored, middle aged, middle England, suffering loss of meaning in a tired marriage that has past its sell-buy date. Roza is from Yugoslavia and full of all the passion that Chris is missing from his life. They meet when Chris attempts to pick up a prostitute, and mistakenly chooses Roza. He is embarrased into offering her a lift home.

Thus begins their relatonship, with Chris finding excuses to visit, to listen to Roza's stories of her life in Yugoslavia with her Partisan father and her exploits since moving to London. The stories evolve in alternating monologue, with each telling their side of the story.

The story is a slow burner, with an evolving relationship between the characters and an underlying sexually charged connecton, that is clearly building to a crescendo. The manner of the apogee is unexpected from the earlier story, but suitably poignant. The only let-down is the concluson of the book following this point, which feels disappointingly rapid and concluded in haste.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is dificult to categorise this one. As with Red Dog[see my recent review] it is neither an epic historical novel per Birds Without Wings and Captain Corelli nor a mythical romp per Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts and The Troublesome Offspring Of Cardinal Guzman. This book is on a much smaller scale , but none the less as enjoyable.
It is like eaves'dropping on an intimate conversation which is really none of our business. Perhaps this intimacy hightens the drama ,humour and urgency to finish the book in one sitting. The lives of the two narrators unfold:The lonely sexually frustrated middle aged man; the young Yugoslav of the title with her roller coaster background of romance, abuse and hurt. Through their conversations we watch their love develop but will it be consumated?
At the end we know who Chris is , but who is The Partisans Daughter?
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