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A Rival Creation [Hardcover]

Marika Cobbold
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 May 1994
Although in more prosperous times her books had been published, now, at 39, Liberty Turner realizes she has no talent, but stoically continues her progress through harvest lunches and creative-writing classes. Then Oscar Brooke moves into the village. By the author of "Guppies for Tea".

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Ediition edition (26 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593035933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593035931
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.6 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,415,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Undoubtedly one of the funniest novels you'll read this summer (Daily Mail) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Marika Cobbold was born in Sweden and is the author of seven novels: Guppies for Tea, selected for the WH Smith First Novels Promotion and shortlisted for the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award; The Purveyor of Enchantment; A Rival Creation; Frozen Music, Shooting Butterflies, Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers, and Drowning Rose. Marika Cobbold lives in London. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegaic Romance with a Tingling Sadness 19 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author has said elsewhere that this book was a kind of reverse 'what if?' Usually 'what ifs' (a very common starting point for writers from Dumas to Dickens and onwards) are 'What if it all went right instead of wrong?'. A Rival Creation is, 'What if it all went wrong, and I couldn't make it as a writer after all in spite of desperately wanting to be one?' It was published after Cobbold had had a massive success with the divine Guppies for Tea, so is extremely interesting from that point of view. It turns out she wrote it when Guppies for Tea had not yet found a publisher and it is filled with longings that will be familiar to any unpublished writer. Liberty Turner lives in a village troubled by strange undercurrents, and at the mercy of her awful (but beautifully drawn) narcissist of a father. She seems to be at the beck and call of the various other somewhat deluded local eccentrics as well. The question posed is, how can Liberty reconstruct herself after serial abandonments and the disappointment of rejection by the publishing world she so desperately wants to re-enter? She does, with considerable bravery, and you should read it to find out how.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Read 14 Jan 2013
Set in the village of Tollymead, Marika Cobbold's second novel 'A Rival Creation' tells the story of Liberty Turner, a divorced writer, approaching her fortieth birthday, who has just received yet another rejection of her latest novel. After reasonable success with her first four novels, Liberty's last five books have been turned down and to add insult to injury, her lover, Tom, has abandoned her, telling her she is "the definitive failure" and complaining that she spent too many hours slaving over her work, instead of paying enough attention to him (no loss there, then). Liberty, taking her ex-lover's comments to heart, tries to resign herself to her lack of creative talent and, to make ends meet financially, she falls back on her translation work and the teaching of writing skills to a small group of village residents, and she also begins to involve herself more in the lives of her friends and neighbours in her village community. However, the village of Tollymead is not the middle-class idyll that it might appear on the surface, as the reader soon discovers.

Firstly there is Liberty's immediate neighbour, Evelyn Brooke, an elderly, but sprightly spinster, who is very concerned with environmental issues, one of which involves her chaining herself to an old oak tree under threat of being destroyed. At first, it appears that the villagers rally around her, but then she starts to receive anonymous letters and later a fire is started deliberately in her workshop. Then we have Nancy Sanderson, the adoring wife of Andrew, a selfish and self-opinionated man; however when Nancy comes to the very belated realization of his true character, and the worm begins to turn, just what does she do to get her own back on her self-satisfied spouse?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 22 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Funny, quirky, thought-provoking, sad - completely brilliant. So clever the way the author has turned the usual rags-to-riches concept of the struggling author who eventually attains success on its head.
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