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The Blue Handbag Paperback – 2 Mar 2009

13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Snowbooks (2 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905005997
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905005994
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,016,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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About the Author

Fiona Robyn is a writer and a blogger. She writes to help herself and other people to pay attention, and because she loves to. She writes a daily blog at www.asmallstone.com and a blog about being a writer at www.plantingwords.blogspot.com. She collects other people's small stones at http://ahandfulofstones.blogspot.com. She lives happily in rural Hampshire in the UK with her cats Silver and Fatty, and her vegetable patch.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Freya Pickard on 24 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Blue Handbag by Fiona Robyn is an excellent read. The novel is written in the third person present tense which took me by surprise. But it works so well. I was "in" there straightaway from the first page. The protagonist, Leonard, is an endearing widower who is so real and normal that I warmed to him straightaway. The plot twists and turns but you never flounder and think where's all this going? That there's a secret is obvious from the start. But what the secret is, is revealed very cleverly, layer by layer. The author has a couple of red herrings lying in wait and I found myself changing my mind just as Leonard does, as more information is revealed. It's almost a mystery, without a murder! If you like "solve it" type of novels, this would be one for you. But even if you're not into mystery novels, this is worth a read. The romance is tender, the pace, although "here and now" is actually quite fast paced. The reader sees things through Leonard's eyes and follows his train of thought as it goes off at a tangent - just like one's thoughts do in real life. But you have to keep reading. You have to find out what the secret is. A very neat, concise novel, an interesting cast of characters and a compelling plot that draws you along. Great for a holiday read or a back to work read - I rate this novel very highly indeed. And don't be put off by someone comparing Fiona Robyn to Joanna Trollope. Robyn is miles better than Trollope!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By brain candy on 16 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
I like her main character Leonard, he is very endearing. He has a wonderful character, I like the `buggers' and `loves' scattered through the narrative, the small inflections in his personality that give him depth and made me warm to him so. The story is a real intrigue. From the moment Leonard finds the blue handbag in the first chapter, I had such a drive to know more.

The Blue Handbag is such a lovely read. I really recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. E. Carver on 4 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the characters in The Blue Handbag - I couldn't put it down, I was so completely engaged in Leonard's search. Having discovered the plot, I am tempted to re-read this book to savour the observation and characterisation. I loved that Leonard, a gardener, needed to allow any new ideas to germinate and grow before dealing with the next phase. I chuckled at the humour of Pickles moments, Leonard's occasional flights of fancy, and the author's wry and witty turn of phrase, but life's less amusing realities underpin this layered and interesting book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. B. Smith on 20 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
What would you do if you suddenly found that the person you were married to for many years had a secret life, a life that didn't gel with you knew her/him to be? That is the premise behind Fiona Robyn's "The Blue Handbag". Leonard, still grieving for his wife Rose, finds a ticket in a handbag of hers that seems inexplicable to him. Leonard is a father, grandfather, friend, husband, and most importantly, a good man. Three years after his wife Rose has died, he is almost ready to move on until he discovers the mystery of the wife he knew so well. Weaving an intriguing plot with great characters, Robyn has produced a novel that is a fine read about people we'd like to know. It is definitely worth reading--check it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Finn on 11 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
On the morning that Fiona Robyn emailed me to tell me I'd won a signed copy of The Blue Handbag I also got another unexpected though pleasant surprise. A Greater Spotted Woodpecker was seen in my garden... or so I'm told. I didn't see him myself. I missed him. I've seen them before on my travels but never in my own garden. Maybe he'll come back.
A few days later the book arrives. There is still no sign of my elusive new visitor and the weather has gone to clouds and showers, turning the garden into an unfit place for either bird watching or book reading. I start the book anyway and begin to get acquainted with the main protagonist. I like Leonard almost from the start. He has a quality that reminds me of my Grandad, who was probably one of my most favourite people in existence. But Leonard is far too fanciful, and on occasion silly, for that comparison to stand much scrutiny. I soon realize that a closer mark for comparison might be myself. The clowning about, the wandering imagination and sadly the Ta-da! moments are all things I've been guilty of. The paragraph about Leonard not being able to stop himself mimicking accents even elicited a 'Bloody Hell!' of self recognition from me.
The characterisations throughout are one of the books strengths. The book never overloads with too many characters at a time. You can imagine these people having a life beyond the last page of the novel. I caught myself wondering what Leonard thought of the new bloke on Springwatch this year. And was he missing Bill? Was he drawn to the science or the aesthetics of nature? Probably a mix of the two I conclude. I'm glad he learnt that ducks aren't just for kids. Ducks are great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sassy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
To deal with the death of his wife Rose must be hard enough, but when he discovers some items in her blue handbag Leonard, a gentle soul, has to contend with the possibility that he doesn't know his wife as well as he thought he did and that she may have been keeping secrets from him.

Gardener, Leonard, decides that instead of mulling things over and working himself up into a state he must take action, but peace of mind may not always lead to happiness. With the help of Lily, his wife's old school friend, he tentatively delves into uncovering secrets which have lain dormant for years. Will he be strong enough to cope with the consequences?

Fiona Robyn writes with remarkable perception about one man's tenacious search for answers and the knowledge that the truth may not be what he wants to hear. She strikes the perfect balance between a captivating, yet realistic plot, and the accurate portrayal of her characters' intricate lives and the relationships they build. As this story unfolds Robyn has captured the essence of what it means to have one's life thrown into disarray, and how it is possible to overcome life's obstacles with caring friendships and a loving family, even though they each also have their own issues to deal with. Pickles the dog is also a sweetheart and plays an important role in Leonard's life as his coping mechanism and faithful friend. This book made me smile, laugh out loud and shed a tear. Now, that's what I call entertainment!
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