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Learning How to Love [Kindle Edition]

Al James
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Book Description

'Learning How to Love' begins with the discovery of a body in a remote village on the southern tip of Italy. How the events that unfold there and the impact of the second world war story behind it affect the present day relationships of Patrick and Anna is at the heart of this novel about coming to terms with who we are. In very different ways both of them discover the past is something they can’t escape. Alongside them, Liz and Josh have to accept the loss of their previous relationships before they can move forward, and Simon confronts the reality of his sexuality. Through the development of this fast moving novel, each of them has to rebuild their life. As they do so they find themselves facing fundamental questions. How much are we affected by our background and our life circumstances? What is the nature of human attraction and do we have to learn how to love? The twists and turns of the novel are eventually resolved in surprising but convincing conclusions.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 539 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Rossendale Books (5 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A2V2JTC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #658,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read 5 Jan. 2013
By Thea
Format:Kindle Edition
Compelling, compassionate, thought-provoking and full of insight. Plenty of varied and interesting characters coming to terms with their past so that they can embrace a future and understand themselves better. Strands interweave to produce a wonderful first novel. Couldn't put it down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning to Love - it's all in the title 15 Nov. 2012
By Peter
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Novel titles don't always give us too much of a clue about what we are to experience. This impressive first novel by Al James is an exception. It is all about learning to love and the profound challenges that presents. It is a novel about the impact of the past, symbolised most powerfully by the discovery of a long buried body in southern Italy. The structure is complex with a series of strands coming together in terms of the developing plot but held together more effectively by the dominating theme of people trying to forge new or first relationships under the burden of pasts that in one way or another hold them back from commitment. It is a compelling read and I got through it in just 2 days. While the plot very occasionally strains under the number of coincidences that bring characters together, a character refers at one point to even Hardy hesitating before using such a sequence of coincidences, the dominating theme gives a poetic unity to the novel that is powerful and in places deeply moving. Particularly successful is the character of Liz. An assertive and confident headteacher (and this is one of very few books that convinces with its school-based scenes), her apparent self-control belies the profound sense of loss she is suffering following the death of her husband three years before. She has to learn to learn to place this grief and this deep love so that she can begin afresh with a new relationship. This complex emotional struggle is handled with great sensitivity and skill.

This is a really enjoyable read but it is also thought provoking. It is above all a deeply humane work that engages the reader in the complex and painful world of loss but which ultimately asserts the central importance of commitment to relationships even if that might risk the cost of loss or hurt. I strongly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fab read!! 2 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I loved all the different characters and really empathised with some of them - . The diverse cultural influences really added to the story as did the varied professional backgrounds. I actually couldn't stop reading this book and, unlike so many books (and my pet hate) - the endings for all the characters were well thought out and even when I thought the author had 'forgotten' Wesley - he popped up :-) I loved it and will recommend to my 'book club' ...:-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Characters with variety and depth 4 Jan. 2013
By John H
Format:Kindle Edition
Learning How to Love is a great first novel by Al James. I compliment him on the depth of his characters drawn from the worlds of education, jounalism, music and psychotherapy. The variety is also refected in the settings in Jewish, Polish and Italian culture. The development of the relationships provides compulsive reading. I look forward to his next novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning to Love 14 Dec. 2012
By HMcD
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this book. Initially it took me a while to get into the story with the different characters,locations and time frames but when it fell into place like a jigsaw then it was a good read and I wanted to see how it all worked out. The headmistress I thought was a particularly well drawn character and the scenes set in school were very believable. The character Anna was very irritating at the start but by the end she had become more sympathetic and it is a tribute to the book that its characters could evoke such a strong response. Overall there is a lot of wisdom and experience underlying this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars None 11 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book has very likeable characters and a good story line. The conclusion is very satisfying and ties the many strands of the book together. Well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read 30 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This story begins with individuals whose lives, we discover as the story progresses, are interlinked. Mr James skilfully brings them together; we travel from Italy to the UK and to Poland,the past meets the present and the characters find unexpected love.

I enjoyed the story and it is told well although, like other reviewers, I found the start of the book slightly confusing; there was no clear definition between several separate characters in different locations and I had to recap a few times. It was well worth the perseverance as, once into the story, it was a pleasure to read.

My favourite part was Tom's story in Italy and there is a short poem in the book that I found moving, written by the author.
All in all, it's an enjoyable novel and one that I can recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 16 Dec. 2013
By Elaine
Format:Paperback
What a great book by Al James. The characters really come to life and all through the book I felt as though I was there with them.
Al seems to have a unique way of writing and telling the story. I've never found this in any books I've read before and I really like it.

Well done Al!

Elaine Forester
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars learning how to love- revue by Gus
When I asked the flight attendants why they were laughing, they nodded at the book saying: "We thought you'd learnt by now! Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ian Douglas Fergusson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I loved this book. It took a little while to realise I needed to really focus so as not to miss the connections between all the characters. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mrs RMH Wainwright
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read.
A really readable book, I love the way the characters lives intertwine. Its very cleverly written and hard to put it down once you start reading it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Cathy
3.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
The characters in this novel felt very real although the link to Tom took me a while to make. The eventual resolution to the problems and liaisons was satisfying and... Read more
Published on 21 Feb. 2013 by marion
5.0 out of 5 stars One to read
This is a well written story with a satisfactory ending. The plot is multistranded but well woven so is not an "easy" read but one which maintains reader interest. Read more
Published on 17 Jan. 2013 by Sheila
4.0 out of 5 stars very good read
Brilliant characters that all eventually meet. Love stories throughout. History of warfare and holocaust gently melted in. A very tidy plot with a twist. Read more
Published on 28 Dec. 2012 by rebecca
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning How To Love
This is a wonderful read - beautifully written, clever plot and a fantastic ending - one of the best reads ever and can be recommended to everyone.
Published on 26 Dec. 2012 by Ryan Jervis
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