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Simple Life [Paperback]

Rosie Thomas
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 July 2003

Dinah Steward has a secret. Hidden beneath the comfortable family life she shares with her successful husband Matthew and their two sons lies a shameful secret that has haunted Dinah for fifteen years. She and Matt never speak of it or the impossible choice he forced her to make all those years ago: they think the cracks have been papered over.

But when a chance encounter brings the past into sharp focus once more, Dinah realises she can no longer deny the truth. She decides to risk everything - her husband, her sons, her perfect lifestyle, in order to claim what was always hers.



Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (3 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099462443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099462446
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Immensely sensitive, full of insight" (Woman's Journal)

Book Description

From the bestselling author of If My Father Loved Me

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Once again Rosie Thomas keeps you gripped from page one. This is a heart-rendering story of a woman who cannot come to terms with a decision she made in her past and returns to England from her American home to try to make peace with her past. Although almost tragic in parts, the story shows that sometimes you must follow you heart regardless of the consequences.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hard-to-put-down romantic novel 20 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As with Rosie Thomas's other stories, I found this one pleasing and flowing to read, very sensitively written, yet believable and realistic. I enjoyed this book very much.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Life 31 July 2008
Format:Paperback
Although this was a well written story, it is not the cheeriest in the world.

It is very sad in places and made me feel very uncomfortable in relation to the 'heroine' who regrets a decision in her past. This however is no reflection on Rosie Thomas' writing - she deals sensitively with the subject - possibly how well she has written as you can put yourself in the lead characters shoes.

I have only read one other Rosie Thomas book - Bad Girls, Good Women and thoroughly enjoyed this, even though again, you feel uncomfortable in the lead characters shoes, and it was incredibly sad in parts. This said though it did not feel as bleak as this story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blast from the Past 22 July 2010
By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Another enthralling read from Rosie Thomas, this woman is such a good writer of fiction. Her research is detailed and the atmosphere and settings she evokes are vivid.

The story of Dinah's need to search for the daughter she had adopted at birth, the breakdown and rebuilding of her relationship with her husband, Matt, and the seamlessly woven-in story of Milly form a narrative that is involving and emotionally detailed.

Most accurate, to me, is the breakdown that Dinah goes through when she once again connects with Sarah, the child she gave away. There is a stark reality in the way she is totally conscious of what she is doing at the same time as knowing that she is out of control.

Norfolk, while only detailed in relevant small parts, is brilliantly evoked as a background both physical and emotional. This is where Rosie Thomas excels; she can fuse place and emotion into a background that enhances each story she tells.

A mass of great characters here: Dinah, Matt; the children are highly believable; Milly is a wonderful invention based so much on those almost-damaged children who rebel. The gradual revealing of Ed and Sandra is a rewarding portrayal of parents. Sarah is delineated with just enough detail to make her real without dominating her part of the story, which would have been wrong.

It is interesting to compare this with "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" which tells almost the same story in a different fashion. It would be interesting to compare and contrast the style of the two novels, but I would highly recommend reading both of them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 21 Aug 2002
By KellyB
Format:Paperback
As a fan of Rosie Thomas I always expect a good read, something I hate to finish but simply can't put down. This book is by far her best work, I cried in parts and laughed in others. A story told with a depth of emotion that is missing from so many of todays authors. I recommend this book to all those people who read who ask, can I borrow a book to read, so far I haven't had any complaints, please buy it, read it and pass it around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thoughtful novel 5 Nov 2012
By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Dinah, with her husband and children, is living in America because of Matthew's research at the university. Outwardly they appear a very happy family but they have left a very big secret at home in England and the choices which they made are destroying the marriage and Dinah's peace of mind. When Matthew does something that betrays Dinah's trust and she comes into contact with a teenager who has her own issues Dinah is precipitated into action and she returns to England to try to come to terms with her life.

I became totally engrossed in this novel. I thought that the author demonstrated very well how a marriage could disintegrate in silence and the pressure which partners often make upon one other. Dinah feels that she has had to make a great sacrifice to keep Matthew, and Matthew feels that he has done the best for the family. Their two points of view can never be reconciled and their relationship has necessarily to be built on an unsteady foundation.

There are lots of engaging characters in this book starting with Matthew and Dinah but including Milly the disengaged teenager and Francis to whom Dinah offers hope and then withdraws it. The author clearly shows the impact both in the past and the present of what Dinah and Matthew had done but makes no judgements about whether they were right or wrong.

This is a book which leaves you with lots to think about and its strength is in the description of events which are very real.
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