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The Republic of Love

The Republic of Love [Kindle Edition]

Carol Shields
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


‘A novel that’s so engrossing it makes you want to retire to a squashy sofa until you reach the end. Vividly fresh…glittering and spangled with fabulous surprises.’ Sunday Times

Sunday Times
'A novel that's so engrossing it makes you want to retire to a squashy sofa until you reach the end. Vividly freshglittering and spangled with fabulous surprises.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1308 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00GXSG7LO
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; New Ed edition (24 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005UF0QQS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,041 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 28 May 2007
Brilliantly written, amazingly insightful, sumptous prose that describes the little things so well. And somehow it remains very readable (much easier that the Stone Diaries - which I gave up upon). The story line is slow to start, but in retrospect, this is one the novel's achievements and it actually gives a suspense to the latter half.

And yes, it's a love story, but not a cheesy one (despite the book's title), but one that is grounded in reality which gives real power to the words.

If you havent read Carol Shields before, this is a great place to start.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars love at first sight 25 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"who ever loved that love not at first sight?"

Carol Shields makes both her two protagonists very human, we become really interested in their (very ordinary) lives - she convinces us ordinary lives are to be wondered at - and the love at first sight reads very naturally when it arises.

We normally expect there to be some reason why people get together. At least once upon a time 19th century novelists reflected on this. Carol Shields doesn't. The pleasure is in recognising emotion, not for example deep character analysis.

Do we believe in love at first sight? I've recently read a book by Sharon Moalem that claims that scent has a powerful and immediate role in the selection of mates; and in the distant past recollect reading suggestions in the writings of Robin Skynner that the selection of partners in stranger groups seems to reflect deep unconscious but highly effective non-verbal signalling. So who knows?

Either way, this novel makes for a quite unequivocally enjoyable reading experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mermaids in Winnipeg 25 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Republics do not have kings or queens, nor princes or princesses, so, we must assume, fairytales are out. Winnipeg is not exactly a republic, and, at least in terms of their love lives, two residents of the city, Fay and Tom, seem to inhabit a world where fairytales are inconceivable. But that place might not be Winnipeg: it might be closer in to themselves.

Despite - or perhaps because of - having had a multitude of mothers, Tom has been married three times, each attempt turning success into apparent and mildly painful failure, with or sometimes without associated acrimony. For her part, Fay, at thirty-five, has had several relationships of varied length, but none has led to wedding bells, a fact that seems to trouble her, sometimes.

Tom is a radio presenter. He hosts one of those late night phone-ins aimed at insomniacs, but usually attracting the opinionated. His mood, his history, his takes on where life has taken him clearly influence his style. Rises or dips in his personal life are immediately apparent, communicated without trying. But do not assume that anything offers even influence to what the contributors say. Rest assured, they will offer precisely what they want, perhaps precisely what they have been fed, if only because they are all as self-absorbed as everyone else.

Fay works more regular hours. She is an ethnologist and works in a folklore centre. She is heavily into mermaids, and perhaps they are also into her. She researches the mermaid myth, catalogues sightings, interviews people who have seem them, travels the world giving papers on our social and psychological need to invent these creatures. Mermaids, though overtly sexual and obviously female, are eventually sexless, unless they have exaggerated tails.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the sweetest books I have ever read 25 Feb 1999
By A Customer
I have read this book about four times and each time it has made me cry. It is a sweet, lyrical, lovely book and I unreservedly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 'go-back to' book 12 Feb 2012
I first read this book many years ago and have reread it many, many tmes since. This book is my good news, feel good fix; that's not to say that it's trivial. The characters have their challenges and despite initial appearances not everything in the garden is rosy.

Carol Shields' books are all about the people and that, for me, is what makes a great read.

I'm on my third copy of this book as when I've lent it to friends they've been loathe to return it - no matter, a book shared is a joy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love and work 30 Dec 2013
By Amanda Jenkinson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Fay is a 35 year old folklorist who studies mermaids. Tom is a 40 year old 3 times divorced radio talk show host. Fay can't commit. Tom commits too easily. When they meet, there is in instant and powerful attraction, but inevitably the course of this love affair is not going to run smoothly. This is a gentle romantic novel about love in all its manifestations, narrated with all of Carol Shields trademark verve, compassion and humour. It's a touching and funny book, full of wit and authentic dialogue, told from shifting viewpoints and with impressively accurate and pin-point observations of how people behave. It's also a novel about work. Fay's research into mermaids is seamlessly integrated into the plot, and is in itself very interesting and informative. Tom's job as a night-time DJ provides much of the humour in the novel, encapsulating neatly the type of people who love to phone into such programmes. All the characters are well-rounded, even the minor ones, and the city of Winnipeg is as much a character in its own right as any of its inhabitants. Perhaps one or two of the plot twists are less than convincing, but the reader is so caught up in Fay and Tom's relationship that it really doesn't matter. A charming and extremely enjoyable novel.
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