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February Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description


"Lisa Moore's work is passionate, gritty, lucid and beautiful. She has a great gift" (Anne Enright)

"Moore's wonderful fluidity of approach is noticeable right down to the level of her individual sentences. It has been a joy indeed to discover Lisa Moore" (Daily Telegraph)

"An astonishing writer. She brings to her pages what we are always seeking in fiction and only find in the best of it: a magnetizing gift for revealing how the earth feels, looks, tastes, smells, and an unswerving instinct for what's important in life" (Richard Ford)

"Heart-warming...domestic fiction at its finest... Moore depicts her characters with compassion and respect... Despite the chill of its title, February exudes the warmth and joyousness of a much sunnier world" (Michael Arditti Daily Mail)

"Moore slips [small insights] in so gently you barely feel them, turning a sad story simply told into a minor-key triumph" (Guardian)

Book Description

A moving and masterful novel from an extraordinary writer comparable to Carol Shields and Mary Lawson, longlisted for the Booker Prize 2010.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 601 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (17 Aug. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099546280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099546283
  • ASIN: B003ZDO93I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #359,281 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Lisa Moore is a subtle writer, building up her picture of long-term bereavement and gradual recovery grain by grain, which draws in the reader to a wholly realised world, across thirty years of a woman's life.

Apart from the meticulously realised retelling of the (true) loss of all hands on a floating oil platform in the North Atlantic on 14 February 1982, there is not a vast amount of plot. But this isn't a shallow thriller, and plot is not Moore's main interest. Rather, she is interested in revealing depths and subtleties of character through the little (or major) incidents of their lives, overshadowed by the disaster. She does so in a non-linear fashion, like a conversation where people reminisce up and down through the well of time.

Individual chapters, particularly towards the end, would stand out as short stories in their own right, and Moore is not averse to introducing characters for single episodes, taking as much care to bring them to life as with the central half-dozen family members. However, the reader becomes especially close to Helen, and to her son John, the two very different individuals who dominate the narrative.

Of all the 2010 long-listed Booker novels, this is the only one which I found personally moving, as the accumulation of detail, especially of the minutiae of loss, becomes overwhelming across 300 pages. The pace never drags, and the characters remain true and fresh to the end. A very satisfying read - and a life-affirming book which surely deserves to win the Booker.
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Format: Paperback
Reviewers seem to be split on this one, but I'm firmly in the `pro' camp. One critic complains of getting lost in the back-and-forth in time that structures the book, yet every chapter heading makes it clear what time we're in. Another says the whole idea of a novel based around a real-life Newfoundland oil-rig disaster three decades ago is a dubious waste of time. Eh?

What Lisa Moore does is to anatomise grief, and methods of coping (or not coping) with it, by incrementally fleshing out the life, thoughts and emotional responses of the main character, widowed Helen, and to a lesser extent her son and daughters. John has discovered that a holiday fling has led to the prospect of a child he hadn't contemplated and may not want. Helen, by contrast, has had snatched away from her the husband she very much wanted to hold on to for ever.

This book could have been dull, or maudlin or just plain irritating, but it never is. Instead it's quiet, thoughtful and redemptive. Time and again I found myself thinking, Yes, that's just right. If you like books like The Shipping News, or anything by Alice Munro, this is for you.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this, though at times got a little fed up of the multi-point narrative. Moore's writing is tentative, she does not pretend to know what her characters think and feel, often suggesting a string of possibilities. I found it interesting that it is in part the story of the romance of an older lady, but a shame that Moore skims over this, in this the end felt rushed.

The book follows, among other things the story of a birth and of a death. The death is Helen's, the 54 year old grandmother protagonists, husband Cal, on the Ocean Ranger disaster. The birth is of the accidental child of her oldest child John. The blurb suggests that John grapples with what to do about the impending birth, the grappling wasn't too evident.

Moore writes in beautiful, short chapters, which are rich in imagery and place. I imagine that Newfoundland is well captured, but I've never been there. I wondered if Moore had ever been to England, as at one point Helen sits on a coach between Stanstead and Heathrow and rhapsodises about the 'stonewalls and sheep', the Englishness of the countryside.......its sounds more like she is in Yorkshire than near London!

I found it enjoyable, as I have said, and a great book to read on the bus. I did not find it terribly memorable. Its the sort of book I like to take on holiday.
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Format: Paperback
In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland. All 84 men aboard died. Clearly this wasn't tragedy enough for Lisa Moore, whose novel 'February' is a fictional narrative set twenty-five years after this real-life disaster.

In 'February', Moore explores the protracted grief of Helen O'Mara; "one of those left behind" by the catastrophe - as the patronising, garrulous blurb puts it - as if the death of those 84 men was nothing more than a dalliance in the countryside to which their wives weren't invited. Except Helen wasn't "left behind" at all - because she isn't real: unlike, I imagine, many, many tens of women whose husbands did drown in 1982, any one of who's story would doubtless have made more moving, interesting and poignant reading that Moore's literary nadir.

The problem with February is entirely conceptual. With such a heart-breaking, community-shattering disaster as its basis, why does Lisa Moore feel the need to fictionalise the grief with made-up characters and events? It's almost as if Moore wanted to write about the Ocean Ranger, but didn't have the balls to write a straight-up novelisation of the actual disaster, and so made up her own story and set it 25 years later. Why the need for this fake chronicle set so long after the fact? Moore's narrative is just dull, dull, dull compared to its real-world inspiration. The sinking of the Ocean Ranger is the story I want to read about: that's where my interest would lie: not in this bizarre, pseudo-realistic aftermath set in the present day. Even a book of interviews with the surviving widows would have made a more fitting tribute.

It's an age-old argument: at what point does `inspiration' verge on exploitation?
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