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Speaking of Love [Hardcover]

Angela Young
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Mar 2007
When human beings don't talk about love things go wrong. If a mother had told her daughter, even once, that she loved her they might not have spent years without seeing each other. If a man had found the courage to tell a woman that he'd always loved her she might never have married a different man. And if a father had told his daughter that he loved her when her mother died, she might not have suffered the breakdown that caused a rift with her own daughter years later. But if you are born into a family that never talks about love, how do you learn to say the words? "Speaking of Love" is a first novel about what happens when people who love each other don't say so. It is also about the human need for stories and how stories can help make sense of the random nature of life. The novel is set in East Anglia, in London and at a storytelling festival in the grounds of a medieval castle in south Wales.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Beautiful Books Limited (23 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905636067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905636068
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 14.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,356,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Angela Young is a graduate of Middlesex University's MA in Creative Writing and is the author of two novels. In 1995, BBC Books published Angela's 30,000-word ending to Edith Wharton's last, unfinished novel, The Buccaneers, a story of love and marriage set among the British aristocracy and the American moneyed classes in late nineteenth-century England.

Speaking of Love is Angela's first novel. It follows the relationship of a mother and daughter and what happens when people find it impossible to say the words 'I love you'; when people find it difficult to say the things that matter the most. It's also a novel about hope and the restoration of trust and has been described as 'beautifully written' by Joanna Lumley, and 'suffused with a love of storytelling and a warmth that makes it a pleasure to read' by the Daily Mail.

Angela's second novel, The Dance of Love, is a coming-of-age tale set in the same era as Downton Abbey. It spans two decades (1899-1919) of vast historical change and, through the joys and disappointments of its heroine, the beautiful, wealthy but independently minded Natalie Edwardes, it reveals the many faces of love. It will be published by buried river press, a new imprint of Robert Hale Publishers on 31 July, 2014.

Collages, an anthology of new writing, was published in 2013 and includes an extract from Angela's third novel, a work in progress called For the Love of Life about an angel who accidentally falls in love with a human being.

Angela Young lives and writes in south-west London.
www.angela-young.co.uk

Product Description

From the Author

Angela Young was born in 1951. She has had short stories for children published in the American short story magazines, Cricket and Spider, and a story for adults is published in MsLexia. BBC Books published Young's 30,000-word ending to Edith Wharton's last, unfinished novel, The Buccaneers, and, in 2001, Young graduated from Middlesex university's MA in Creative Writing. Speaking of Love is Young's first novel and she is working on her second novel which will be a modern version of Beauty and the Beast.

About the Author

Angela Young was born in 1951. She has had short stories for children published in the American short story magazines, Cricket and Spider, and a story for adults is published in MsLexia. BBC Books published Young's 30,000-word ending to Edith Wharton's last, unfinished novel, The Buccaneers, and, in 2001, Young graduated from Middlesex university's MA in Creative Writing. Speaking of Love is Young's first novel and she is working on her second novel which will be a modern version of Beauty and the Beast.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual novel, beautifully written 26 July 2007
Format:Hardcover
Speaking of Love is a first book, and please may it not be Angela Young's last. About a lot of things, including schizophrenia, love, loss, missing the point, it hits the spot on all of them. I was caught swiftly, and minded about more than one of the characters throughout. The stories are interwoven but stand alone, and each of the people lives and breathes in their own way, connected to each other, yet individual. Angela Young writes vivid description and includes unexpected but important detail that brings things alive. I loved it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggeringly beautiful. 20 Jan 2008
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I really don't know where to start in order to do this book justice. I'll begin by saying that the opening lines had me hooked immediately . . . 'I have come home, after a long and difficult journey. I travelled alone and it was sometime before I realised that I had arrived'.

The tale we hear is about Iris who is a storyteller, her daughter Vivie, and Matthew, who was Vivie's childhood friend. All 3 take turns to tell their story, about how Iris has a mental breakdown and how her and Vivie become separated when Vivie was very young. The three stories end up linked together in a staggeringly beautiful finish that had me blubbing but at the same time filled me with joy. The book examines what it's like to live with someone who is suffering from a mental illness and the effects it has on everyone involved. The author makes us realise how important it is to tell each other what we are thinking and to not hide our feelings away from those we care about. I loved the symbolism of the tree all the way through this book and of how deep the story roots go. Also, I thought it was very clever to link the 3 main characters' chapters with fairy tales that are delightfully told.

Angela Young is definitely an author to look out for. More please, Angela!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking of Love 1 Feb 2008
By Simon Thomas VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Angela Young's novel has similarities with a couple of other modern novels I've mentioned on here - Maggie O'Farrell's The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, and Margaret Pelling's Work For Four Hands. The main similarity is that one reads investigatively; there is a central mystery to be unfurled, which will help explain why the characters act as they do, respond (or, rather, don't) to each other in the ways they do. Even without all the other reasons to read on, the need to discover how all the pieces fit together is enough to keep anybody hooked.

Speaking of Love is divided into three narrative strands, Iris's Story; Vivie's Story; Matthew's Story. At first I thought this was overkill, and did get a little confused - surely we don't need all three voices? How wrong I was. They are distinct personas, and Young cleverly presents Vivie in the third person, alongside Iris and Matthew in the first person, so little overlap occurs. No character has more than a few pages at any one time, and they always took up the narrative again at exactly the moment I was thinking "Hmm, we haven't heard from Iris/Vivie/Matthew in a while, I hope they're next".

Iris is, appropriately enough, a storyteller - though one who has suffered destructive illness - and is heading towards a storytellers' festival. Vivie, her daughter, hasn't seen her for years, and is suffering her own personal crises. Matthew, Vivie's childhood friend, is also off to the festival, with his father, to hear Iris. As these characters and their relationships are explored, so too are their shared and separate pasts - pieces of the puzzle are continually proferred, though never in such a way as they feel incongruous in the narrative.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable novel 25 May 2007
Format:Hardcover
This is a wonderful novel, beautifully written and characterised, it is engaging, lyrical, gentle, compassionate, wise - and, most important of all, a fantastically good read! I couldn't recommend it highly enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A memorable novel 4 April 2007
By Kay
Format:Hardcover
I haven't enjoyed a novel so much for a long time. It is beautifully written and the characters are believable and capture you from the first page. I doubt if anyone reading it, whatever their circumstances, cannot identify with at least one of the characters - either in themselves, their families or in their friends. I read it in two sittings - most unusual for me - and I found it affected me profoundly. We all sit so near the edge without knowing it; we can all so easily fall on the wrong side of sanity for a number of reasons. This novel captures all that is good and bad in relationships. A really good read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart warming and moving. 5 Jan 2008
By SJSmith TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Such a lovely presented book as the hardback - it has a delightful book mark attached and I really liked the picture on the front. A pleasure to read, the book throws into questions what happens when we don't tell those closest to us how we feel. There are three narrators: Vivie, Iris and Matthew; with other characters involved along the way. Vivie and Matthew grew up next door to each other and Iris is Vivie's mother. The other characters include husbands, fathers and friends.

The book centres around mental illness and the impact that can have on families. Treatment and care is explored and how other people relate to those that are ill. Story telling is the biggest part of the novel with Iris having been told stories when she was a little girl and carrying the tradition on.

I came across this book through the World Book Day website and was very lucky to have been able to discuss (along with my reading group) issues raised in the novel with the author herself. It was a joy to read and I sincerely hope Angela Young goes on to write another novel.

It is well-written and once I'd settled into the flashbacks I was in for a great read. It should have a wide appeal as it covers a range of themes from love, trust, to family life, to mental illness. Something in there for a lot of different people. You may have a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye by the end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story
A clever well written book which allows you to see your own deficiencies through the telling of a wonderfully poignant story. I thoroughly recommend this book.
Published 14 days ago by Ali
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly sensitive, beautifully written
Incredibly sensitive and beautifully written I can't praise Speaking Of Love enough. Angela Young has not only told a wonderfully engaging story but taken a subject that many... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Danny
5.0 out of 5 stars Such beauty and pain interwoven and given to you wrapped in sweet,...
"When you know that love exists but it isn't spoken about...it can be very hard to bear."

Speaking of Love tells the story of Iris, a damaged woman suffering with... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stormd
4.0 out of 5 stars A book to savour
When the book starts we are introduced to Iris, who is taking part at a story telling Festival in Wales. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Elaine Simpson-long
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Bear
Angela Young, Speaking of Love

I have to admit that in spite of its seductive opening Angela Young's debut novel at times tested my patience. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. D. James
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking of love
I am so glad that this beautifully written book is being reissued on Kindle books. I read it when it first came out and couldn't put it down - a truly moving story where you care... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Farquar
5.0 out of 5 stars A deeply moving book
Speaking of Love is a wonderful first novel by Angela Young.

What I loved about it, was that it is one of those books where each person tells their part of the story... Read more
Published 5 months ago by V. A. WARREN
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving
A wonderful book with depth, soul and insight into mother-daughter and many other relationships.
I cried buckets at the beautiful (not harrowing) ending!
Published 5 months ago by Lucinda Mackworth-Young
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful novel
This is a story told by three people - Iris, her daughter Vivie, and Matthew. It takes place over three days leading up to the story-telling festival where Iris is performing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Turning not talking into talking...
This is a lovely book with three central characters; its chapters alternate between their three voices over the course of a long weekend and in flashback. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Annabel Gaskell
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