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A Sensible Life [Hardcover]

Mary Wesley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Mar 1990
It is 1926 and Flora, a lonely ten-year-old, is being looked after by a number of English families whilst on holiday in Brittany. The novel traces the following 40 years of Flora's life. Other novels by the author include "Jumping the Queue" and "Not that Sort of Girl".

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (22 Mar 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059301930X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593019306
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 435,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Made me both laugh out loud and cry" (The Times)

"She writes with the knowledge and wisdom of serene old age and the emotional exuberance of glowing young womanhood" (Daily Telegraph)

"I loved every word of it" (Guardian)

"A splendid novel" (Evening Standard) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A tangled tale of falling in love - with three very different men. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is not so much a love story as a complete look at the changing relationships between three boys (Cosmo, Hubert and Felix) and a girl (Flora) over a period of forty years. It is an intriguing book, in which Mary Wesley shows both the integrity and folly of the children, which develops into confidence as they age, but also awkwardness as they still want to treat each other like children. The times are also well reflected in the French holidays, the blitz and peacetime. If you are looking for a book that draws you into the lives of the characters, then you will probably enjoy this and also The Camomile Lawn by the same author. However, if you prefer books more orientated around a love story, try The Vacillations of Poppy Carew and (my favourite) Harnessing Peacocks also by Mary Wesley, or books by Katie Fforde.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By SusieH
Flora, as a child, is ignored by her parents, and does not really fit in. She is dumped with some interesting characters, including Irena Tarasova, eccentric Russian seamstress.

In Brittany she is surrounded by older, more sophisticated families - who either do not notice her or pity her. Only Cosmo, Hubert and Felix pay her any attention, and she hero-worships them and thinks she is in love. Over the decades we see Flora develop, and relationships change. She still loves the three young men - but is this love reciprocated? A fascinating exploration of love at all ages, and relationships altering over the years

This is now probably my favourite Mary Wesley. Brilliant
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Mary Wesley book 7 Sep 2009
Like all Mary Wesley's books this just rings true somehow. She can create characters and situations that are unusual and uplifting without seeming far-fetched or sickly sweet, perhaps because there is an occasional flash of comedy or tragedy. The plot of this one is very enjoyable, I really wanted to know what would happen to all the characters and loved the style of wtiting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect novel. 1 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I love all of Mary Wesley's novels, and this one ranks along with "The Camomile Lawn" as my favourite.
Many of her books seem to be based on her own childhood-i.e. the young girl neglected or not wanted by her parents or other close relations, who has to struggle to make a life for herself. Flora Trevelyan is no exception, from running wild at Dinard aged ten, to working on a farm post-war, with much in between.
The characters are all very finely drawn, with the usual quirky characteristics which this author depicts so well, and some of the descriptive writing, especially the beach party at Dinard in 1926, is a sheer joy to read.
And how nice that Flora finally gets the man who has waited for her for all those years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional return 30 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book about 20 years ago & remembered it with affection. When I saw it was available on Kindle I wondered whether the reality would match up to the ideal. It did. Mary Wesley creates wonderful, realistic characters in a great page turner. Loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, moving and fabulous! 6 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mary Wesley is in my opinion one of the finest writers of her generation. She writes of life, love and loss in her own inimitable style.
I love all her books.
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