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A Half Forgotten Song Paperback – 22 Nov 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (22 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409135896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409135890
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

KATHERINE WEBB was born in 1977 and grew up in Hampshire before reading History at Durham University. She has since spent time living in London and Venice, and now lives near Bath, UK. Having worked as a waitress, au pair, personal assistant, bookbinder, housemaid, library assistant and seller of fairy costumes, she is now a full-time writer. Her debut novel, The Legacy, won the popular vote for the TV Book Club Summer Read 2010 and was shortlisted for Best New Writer at the 2010 Galaxy National Book Awards. Her subsequent novels The Unseen, A Half Forgotten Song and The Misbegotten were all Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers, and her books have been translated into 26 languages around the world. The Night Falling, her fifth novel, is released in November 2014.


Product Description

Review

A dreamy summer epic. (ESSENTIALS)

Webb explores obsession and its dark consequences, with a mood of foreboding (THE HERALD)

Book Description

From the author of THE LEGACY and THE UNSEEN comes a powerful tale that explores the dark heart of love, and the shocking truths that dwell there.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By annie hughes on 14 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Having enjoyed Katherine Webb's The Legacy, I was looking forward to this one. A fascinating period, just before WWII. The insular setting of a coastal village, with attitudes at odds with those of the holidaying 'incomers'. And the character of an artist, self-absorbed, or rather absorbed by his craft. Looking back from a contemporary timeframe, Zach is faced with a tangle of secrets and lies, hints and half truths.
With all the ingredients of an interesting tale in place, why didn't it quite work for me? Well, for a start it felt about 100 pages too long. As a reader, I'd 'got' Mitzy's obsession with Charles early on and found the constant reiteration tedious. Then there were the artistic elements - I expected the pages to almost reek of turpentine, but there was precious little about his art. Loose ends? Far too many - what about the bully brothers, and the 'sounds from upstairs' for example? The Ilir story seemed little more than a plot device, and the outcome of Delphine's story depended on a relationship that was introduced at last moment.
All in all, disappointing.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By C. Colley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
Katherine Webb fans are in for treat!

With a failed marriage and a failing art gallery business, Zach Gilchrist is wondering what to do next when an intriguing portrait and a phone call from a publisher prompt him to make a decision.
Zach's possible family link and obsession with renowned artist, Charles Aubrey, takes Zach to Blacknowle, a village on the Dorset coastline and the place where Zach hopes to write a book on Aubrey's life and work.
Charles Aubrey and his family had spent several summers in Blacknowle back in the 1930s. Zach's research into Aubrey leads him to Mitzy Hatcher, an elderly eccentric woman who had spent a lot of time with the Aubrey family as a young girl.

As Zach begins to unravel the past, Mitzy's story is slowly revealed. Her memories and secrets of those long ago summers reveal her deep bond with the Aubrey's and her obsessive love for Charles Aubrey, a love which led to tragic consequences.
Interwoven with this is the present-day storyline concerning Zach and Hannah Brock. Hannah is Mitzy's nearest neighbour and carries her own secrets.

This is a well structured story in a wonderful setting and a very enjoyable read. The intertwining plot unfolds at just the right pace and remains intriguing throughout. I love how all the different strands of the novel come together in the last few pages.
If you have read and enjoyed Katherine Webb's previous work, I really don't think you will be disappointed with this one.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Yorkshire Rose on 30 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved The Legacy and The Unseen and would say they are in my top 50 books ever read. I eagerly anticipated the release of Half Forgotten Song but I knew from a very early stage in the book that I wasn't enjoying this as much as the other two. I got to 64% on my kindle before I started liking it.

Dimity is indeed a strange character and I'm not entirely sure I liked her. Charles came across to me as being a very weak man even though he seemed to be magnetic to women, and I never really understood why this was the case. I didn't feel there was enough background on his earlier life ( without giving the plot away) and I would have really liked to have known about this. I know Valentina was a cruel and evil woman but she was a strong and interesting character.

On a positive note, I love Katherine Webb's style of writing, which is so atmospheric and detailed that I could virtually feel the heat and the dust in Morocco.

I have only just read the 5 star reviews now that I have finished it and I do feel that I have read an entirely different book to the other reviewers, which leaves me feeling a bit mean.

I am sorry that I didn't enjoy this as much as the other two, but I honestly tried hard to like it, I really did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Riverside Reader on 4 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have commented it was a slow starter and I wondered whether I would finish it. However, I gradually got drawn into the story and the characters started to become interesting. The middle section of the book moves swiftly along making you want to turn the pages but sadly the end is something like the beginning, it's rushed and just a touch unbelievable? Could Dimity really have kept her secret for so long? I don't think so, nor do I think Hannah could have got away with what she did especially in a small village! Too much law breaking to be entirely plausible.

However, it would be wrong to just dismiss as a superficial poolside book as it is well crafted and has some very thought provoking moments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Crystal on 19 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After really enjoying reading Katherine Webb's two previous books (The Legacy and The Unseen) I was really excited about reading A Half Forgotten Song! I like how the books are about two different lifetimes coming together which keeps it interesting. I did enjoy this book, quite powerful emotions but wasn't my favourite of the three.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ted's Girl on 13 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A mostly - unprepossessing novel (I had to check the back cover to remind myself I had read it) but it did hold one interesting twist at the end. If you like Kate Morton or Rebecca Hoare, you will either love it or find it a bland imitation. None of the characters was sufficiently explored to make them truly compelling, including the protagonist, but especially the supporting, and usually narrative-driving, ones. A scenario which invited much greater depths to the lead characters, I felt, gave instead, unnecessary depth to peripheral characters. Just my humble opinion.
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