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Gossip [Kindle Edition]

Beth Gutcheon
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A graceful and elegant novel that explores the unintended damage that simmering hostility and sharing confidences can bring, Gossip builds to a stunning and devastating finish. --New York Times

Enthralling, triumphant and true --Boston Globe

Product Description

Loviah French owns a boutique dress shop in Manhattan. She has two best friends: Dinah - a columnist covering New York's wealthiest - and Avis - a prominent figure in the art world. Despite the deep affection they both feel for Loviah, Dinah and Avis have been allergic to one another since an incident decades earlier that has been remembered and resented. But when a marriage means that Dinah and Avis must set aside their differences, Loviah must manage her two friends' secrets as wisely as she can. Which is not wisely enough, as things turn out - a fact that will have a shattering effect on all their lives.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 418 KB
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 006193142X
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094I8ZOW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,574 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gossip 19 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't recall where I first came across Beth Gutcheon - her books aren't easy to find in the UK. But I must have liked the look of her books - I have Still Missing and The New Girls on my bookshelves. At last I've got round to reading one of her books, Gossip, recently released in the UK - and I hope we'll be seeing the release of her back catalogue to follow, because this one was really excellent.

The narrator is Loviah ("Lovie") French who runs a small dress shop in Manhattan catering for an exclusive clientele. The story begins in her boarding school days, where she first encounters the other two main characters - Avis, a little older than her and a little restrained, now working as an art buyer, and the irrepressible and sometimes acerbic Dinah, a newspaper columnist. Avis and Dinah have history - a relatively insignificant social faux pas in their school days that has shaped their perceptions of each other - and Lovie forms a bridge and buffer between her two very different friends. The book follows the lives of the three women from boarding school days, through family and personal dramas for all three of them, covering a period from the 1960s to post 9/11, and is a thoroughly absorbing read.

Lovie is a fascinating character - she has her own secrets, which emerge as the story progresses, and tells the story in a flowing style which directly addresses the reader as if you are also fortunate enough to be her friend. There is much sadness through the pages, dreadful betrayal, lives destroyed, cruelty through speech and action, but also a light and gentle humour.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars envy people who have still to read this 2 May 2013
I take on board and partly agree with everything positive and negative the other reviewers have said. This IS a book about annoyingly rich Americans, and it does meander a little, but the story is about human relationships, which tend to meander, and the wealth of the main protagonists is surely part of the story - the narrator's livelihood is to 'serve' these people and that ties into her ambivalent role in the story. I loved this book so much I re-read it after a few weeks and I envy anyone who has still to read it. But in a way, it's a book which has to be re-read, because so many clues are dropped along the way. This book describes everything - clothes, houses and food - in a richly evocative way, but leaves a lot unsaid about emotions, and that is what makes it such a rewarding read. It wasn't until I read it the second time that I realized what a tragic character the narrator, Loviah, was, and how all her rich friends and acquaintances used her - with her full consent of course, which makes it even sadder. The story asks what all good fiction asks - how should live be lived? It invites us, ultimately to judge between the apparently cold, controlled person and the apparently warm, manipulative one, and to appreciate the moral dilemma of the person caught in between. But there's a lot more to the book than this. This is the best book I've read so far this year and I would heartily recommend it,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Stylish 9 Jun 2014
Loviah French, or 'Lovie' as she is known, is piggy-in-the-middle. She met and made friends with both Dinah and Avis when they all attended the same boarding school back in 1960. Dinah and Avis are worlds apart, and can't stand each other, yet both of them are great friends to Lovie.

The story is set in New York and is told in the voice of a now middle-aged Lovie. Lovie is looking back on her friendship with the other two women and Gutcheon's tells the story of how they all grew to be the women they are today ... except for one thing .... the reason that Lovie is telling their story, and something that is not revealed to the reader until the very end of the story.

Beth Gutcheon is not a thrilling author, she doesn't shock or dismay, but she has a beautiful style that is both gentle and funny. Her insight into the often complicated world of female friendships is so precise and can be both satisfyingly familiar to the reader and also a little reminder of how friends can often cause the deepest of wounds.

Three women, all so very different, yet all with their own compelling voice. I am really not surprised that Beth Gutcheon has had such success in her native America if her novels are all as well written as Gossip - I really hope that she has as much success here in the UK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gossip 2 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This meandering novel tells the story of Loviah French, who owns a dress shop in Manhattan catering to the rich and famous, and her two best friends Dinah Wainwright and Avies Binney. The three met at boarding school although it is Loviah who ties them together. Dinah is a spiky gossip columnist and Avies a prominent figure in the art world, from an impeccable family background. This is the story of their lives, told through marriages, affairs, divorce, children, careers and world events. For much of the book Loviah keeps her relationship with each of her friends separate, until events mean that she has to mediate between them.

Although this is a gentle read, concerning personal relationships rather than an action packed plot, it certainly does not lack depth or interest. I found myself really drawn to Loviah and her friends and family. The author creates a world of believable characters you care about and the ending certainly packs a real punch. I really enjoyed this novel and was sad when it ended. Beth Gutcheon has written many books, although only this one is currently available on kindle in the UK at the moment. I hope that her publishers make her back catalogue more readily available here as I would love to read more of her work. This book would also be ideal for reading groups, with loads to discuss and characters you will sympathise with and relate to.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
Gossip is a book that I probably wouldn't have picked for the blurb on the back alone but I did like the cover and felt that this would have pushed me into buying it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by mrsb2011
4.0 out of 5 stars Gossip
An interesting walk through the lives and loves of Lovinia's.
A well written book which captures the complexities of women's relationships with each!
Published 3 months ago by dawn73
1.0 out of 5 stars Life is too short to read bad books
In mitigation this was a book group read, else I would never have picked it up. Nothing interesting to recommend it at all. A banal and tedious read.
Published 8 months ago by dograffi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great treat
An updating of The Group, set in the 50s. Three great female protagonists, lives believe ably inter mingle over the decades. Read it and enjoy.
Published 8 months ago by debbieg
5.0 out of 5 stars FAB
Published 12 months ago by sue
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story
I really enjoyed this read it was gripping and compelling and I would recommend it as a good holiday read.
Published 14 months ago by L. E. Cooper
3.0 out of 5 stars A word to the wise never tell a secret
Some books grip you from the very first word others you feel like you have lost a friend when you put it down. Read more
Published 14 months ago by foxcylady
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow burn but quite addictive
Yes, this book is very American which means some of the references may pass us Brits by. It's also true to say that it has a certain coldness, a detachment that may not be to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Penelope Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks sparkle.

I really thought I was going to like this novel. I read and loved Mary McCarthy's The Group and Rona Jaffe's The Best of Everything, which this novel is compared... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Charliecat
3.0 out of 5 stars A converted fan
I became a converted fan but it took e a long time reading to get there 3/4 of the way through the book- the undirected proof I was sent pagination was out of sink and I had to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by avid british reader
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