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The Far Cry (Penguin) [Paperback]

Emma Smith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A beautifully written 1949 novel about a young girl's passage
to India.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

The Far Cry (Penguin) + Maidens' Trip + The Great Western Beach
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Product details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1st edition (1952)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CI8HN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,754,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emma Smith was born Elspeth Hallsmith in 1923 in Newquay, Cornwall, where she lived until the age of twelve. Her book, Maiden's Trip, was first published in 1948 and won the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize. It was republished in 2009. Her second, The Far Cry, was published the following year and was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 1951 Emma Smith married Richard Stewart-Jones. After her husband's death in 1957 she went to live with her two young children in Wales, where she published four successful children's books, a number of short stories and, in 1978, her novel, The Opportunity of a Lifetime. In 2008 The Great Western Beach, her memoir of her Cornish childhood, was published to widespread acclaim. Since 1980 she has lived in the London district of Putney.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravishing writing 8 May 2003
By A Customer
The quality of writing of this story about a young girl's journey to India is so sublime it is extraordinary that Emma Smith didn't write many more novels.
She has the rare ability to transport the reader into the very heart of her story, with descriptions that are spare but so colourful that you can almost smell and see the scene. Effortlessly you can conjure up the ocean on the journey and the overwhelming effect of India, at the same time feeling acutely the emotions of the protagonists in the story.
As I read this book I kept thinking what a good film it would make, but when I analysed the story perhaps there is not enough there to grip today's audience. I couldn't bear the book to end and loved every minute of it.
Highly recommended.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem 30 Nov 2003
By A Customer
I read The Far Cry only after it was republished by Persephone. It was quite simply the best novel I read last year - acutely observed and beautifully written. I have since bought several copies to give to friends, and without exception they have been similarly bowled over. One cried when she came to the end.
In reply to the reviewer from Banbury, I have been told that Emma Smith has written other books, but they were mainly aimed at children. And she apparently has one adult novel still unpublished.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars _ 23 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This is with out doubt the best novel I've read in eons, and it's a shame that Emma Smith wrote just two adult novels, before in the late 1940s, she married and focussed on her married life. Critically acclaimed as they were, they have been largely forgotten, and a third later adult one, remains forlornly unpublished... Penguin?
In "The Far Cry", Fourteen year-old Tersea is pulled out of school by her father to go to India, simply to spite her mother, from whom her father is estranged. He is coming to England to reclaim her so that in India he can reunite her with his other daughter from a previous marriage, the lovely Ruth. At least, that's the plan...
When Teresa and her father get to India, everything changes: their responses to this nation unknown to them show them to be capable of stronger sensibilities and reactions then we supposed, and when they arrive at the house of Ruth and her husband in Assam (both of whom are themselves strongly realised characters) we feel we know them much more thoroughly, and Smith's wider precocious pattern makes more sense. This is where surprise strikes, and not for the first time...
Emma's use of India as a backdrop for her Anglo-Indian characters' problems is distinguished, as she is concerned with India in terms of the distance and immensity it implies for central Anglo-Indian family, and what it says about their own problems regarding human contact and friendship. Her powers of description are exceptional, very acutely observed and her words and phrases, beautifully crafted. Indeed, the ease with which India and its atmosphere steps into your mind, is effortless as the book reads itself
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