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The Life You Want Paperback – 17 Sep 2009

31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (17 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755335600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755335602
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emily Barr is the well-loved and bestselling author of BACKPACK, the original backpacking novel, and many other highly acclaimed novels. A former journalist, she has travelled around the world and written columns and travel pieces for the Observer and the Guardian. After living in France, Emily and her husband (whom she met backpacking) have settled in Cornwall with their three children. For more information on Emily Barr visit her website www.emilybarr.com.

Product Description

Book Description

Emily Barr is on the verge of the big time - and Headline will do everything needed to get her there

About the Author

Emily Barr has written columns and travel pieces for the Observer and the Guardian for several years, and her previous novels have all been critically acclaimed. She lives in Cornwall with her husband and three children.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By London Reviewer on 20 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm quite puzzled by the antipathy of some reviewers - this is another excellent novel from Barr, although I almost didn't read it because of the reviews. Reading the book, I just didn't recognise the description of the writing as lazy - the depictions of Chennai and Pondicherry were nuanced, sensitive and evocative of the experience of a lone female traveller. I don't think it's fair to imply the book fails for not being a complete or wholly accurate picture of all of India, since that isn't at all what it is setting out to do. I'm not normally a fan of travel writing (although I will always make an exception for Geoff Dyer as well as this author) but Barr has certainly not lost her talent for combining cracking plots, credible dialogue and characters who are less than perfect (but all the more believable and entertaining for that) with a sense of location and of the experience of travel which sets her apart. Tansy Evans has developed into the parent and wife you might have expected her to become since Backpack - the evocation of parenthood and the complexities of feeling that parents have about children and parenting reduced me to tears at points, whilst she has retained the spirit and wit that made me laugh out loud when I read Backpack. I thoroughly recommend this book, especially if you've been a fan of any of Barr's other novels.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. Choncer on 7 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Good read from start to finish, Emily Barr has got this special gift that doesn't allow you to put her book away, mixing travel facts with fiction makes you want to choose a destination a become one of her characters.
This time it's India and if you haven't been there after reading this book you will definitely want to go there. It also answers that question many married woman ask themselves- " Am I happy with what I've got?, " have I married the right man?", " where am I in my life...?"
Read it and find for yourself... :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leah Graham on 16 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
The Life You Want is Emily Barr's eighth novel and the sequel to her first novel Backpack. Now I haven't actually read Backpack because I just couldn't get into it but I wanted to read The Life You Want so went ahead and read it anyway. We pick up with Tansy a decade after Backpack and find out she's married to Max and has two children Toby and Joe. In her opening sentence she tells us she thinks she's having a breakdown. Not only that but she drinks a lot, forgets to pick up her children and contemplates an affair with her son's teacher. To save herself she heads of to India by herself to help out Elly, an old friend. It seems, though, that Elly isn't all she seemed....

Even though I found Tansy an incredibly irritating character, I loved the book. It wasn't as good as The Sisterhood which was fabulous but it was a really enjoyable read. I loved the descriptions of Indian towns and what it's like to travel in India and, I admit, it sounded nothing like I expected it to sound. Like Tansy when I imagine India I think of poor people begging on the streets the whole time. Emily didn't describe it like that at all.

The book is written in first-person which was enjoyable because we got all of Tansy's thoughts. While I say I found her irritating, at least she admitted she was a rubbish mother and wasn't cut out to live in London forever with a steady job. It still didn't stop me thinking she was selfish though for leaving her husband and children to go off to India. She kept saying she wasn't like her alcoholic mother but she was. I alternated between liking Tansy and wanting to slap her. She was selfish to leave her kids but I liked her honesty. She's definitely an anti-heroine and is like Marmite - you'll either love her or hate her.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CMP on 7 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thorougly enjoyed Backpack although I was never sure if I warmed to Tansy. However, I could hardly wait to get a copy of the sequel The Life You Want. At first, I felt the same antipathy towards Tansy but on reflection decided that I liked her 'less- than- perfect mother and wife' lifestyle and the temptation she faced with the teacher!!. I loved reading about her travels and India. My heart bled for Alexia and I liked the way the two stories were portrayed. I enjoyed reading about her meeting with Ethan and was glad she sought him out later. I think Emily Barr built up a great picture/ atmosphere of India. I read this book on holiday and when my husband had finished reading all his Financial papers he asked me if he could read one of my books if I had finished them. I 'confessed' that I only had 'chick lit' and gave him 'The Life You want'. He coiuld hardly put it down and then went on to read Emily Barr's 'First wife' which I had finished and was gripped by that too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avid_Reader_London on 20 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I was given this book (looking a little well-read and well-loved!) by a friend and grabbed it, whilst packing, to read on the beach. What a great choice. I was reminded, from time to time, of the book 'The Beach' in which the reader was whisked away to Thailand. I felt I was in India with Tansy. I will not take you through the plot, I will leave that to others. I could see, smell and taste India. A well-written thrill ride. Thought-provoking and gripping from start to finish.

I kicked myself when I realised this is a sequel to 'Backpack' which I have yet to read. However, it is a great 'stand alone' novel. I shall now read 'Backpack' as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Emily Barr is a wonderful writer.
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