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The Very Thought of You

The Very Thought of You [Kindle Edition]

Rosie Alison
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"Irresistibly romantic ...a highly-charged story of love, longing, betrayal and loss ... written with such conviction that you can't help but be swept along by its intensity." - The Mail on Sunday
"Melancholic, mysterious and heartbreakingly gorgeous." --The Times
"written with such conviction that you can't help but be swept along by its intensity." --The Daily Mail
"A sincere attempt to depict the reverberations of war - chronicling fractured relationships and the inability to love in the right way... Anna is a likeable and memorable heroine." --The Guardian
"...Through a series of subtle plot devices and a haunting contemplation of the different kinds of love that we meet in our lifetime, the story builds to a page-turning and tear-jerking climax." -- Lancashire Evening Post
"A hugely affecting novel" --The Yorkshire Post

"Without question one of the best debuts I've read in recent years." --John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Product Description

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2010. A haunting coming-of-age novel with a love story at its heart, for anyone who has ever loved L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between. England, 31st August 1939: the world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unravelling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with unforeseen consequences. A story of longing, loss and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, The Very Thought of You is not just a love story but a story about love.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 449 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846880866
  • Publisher: Alma Books (26 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003QP4DRM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Rosie Alison grew up in Yorkshire, and read English at Keble College, Oxford. She spent ten years directing television documentaries before becoming a film producer at Heyday Films. She is married with two daughters and lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
119 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books 19 Jan 2010
This is a coming-of-age novel, a story of war, love and loss, beautifully told, inspired by the author's visit to a country house and letters written by a cousin in 1939.

It is set in a country estate, Ashton Park in Yorkshire, the estate and its owners having been brought low by the First World War. Now, at the start of the Second World War in 1939, 8-year-old Anna Sands is evacuated here from London with 85 other children. Anna, intelligent and perceptive, is quickly drawn into the family by the Ashtons who have turned their estate into a school. Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton shape Anna's life.

The story is gripping from the start, with subtle observation and superb detailing, the writing highly visual. The author paints wonderful pictures of London and vividly communicates the feel of Ashton Park.

I count this among my favourite books and highly recommend it.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down. 28 Mar 2010
I found this book to be totally enthralling and thought provoking. A book that stays with you for some time after reading it.
It takes place during the Second World War and is essentially based around an evacuee who along with others is sent to a large house in the country. It follows her story as well as her Parents and the couple who take her in.
I thought that all the characters were well developed and believable, they were not simply good or bad but people who found themselves in situations that they were unable control or cope with.
The description of the little girl and her Mother shopping together before her departure was particularly heart rending but in a most unsentimental way.
This book also tackles the effects of polio, a disease that we have all but forgotten about but which had devastating effects on both its victims and their families.
All in all an absorbing read and one which I found difficult to put down.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By L. Bretherton VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I agree so much with a couple of the other reviewers who refer to the writing as flat, or lacklustre. While the prose is very well crafted in places, the book as a whole is rather unsatisfying. None of the characters really engage you. The narrative keeps jumping from one person to another, then suddenly speeds up towards the end, so characters age from one page to the next. As commented on by another reviewer, there are some incidente which are drawn out to the edges of tedium (the build-up to the love affair between Ruth and Thomas, for example) while other major events are dealt with in a single abrupt paragraph. In her author's notes at the end, Rosie Alison refers to a visit to a house in Cornwall as the starting point for this book. Why then, was it set in Yorkshire, and in a Yorkshire which we never got to see or experience in any way? I just found the book very oddly put together, and felt frustrated with the author, because some of the passages were very well done, it just didn't work as a whole. Also, I was unconvinced by the relationship between Anna and Thomas - what was that about, it seemed a tad creepy?

Not one to keep, I'm afraid, or even pass onto a friend.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfulfilled promise 8 April 2010
I wanted to like this book and enjoyed it enough to finish it. It's not badly written. The author tries to strike a wistful tone but her prose is a little flat and lifeless and I would have welcomed a change of tone to keep my interest. As other reviewers have commented it's a more tell than show. There wasn't a lot of plot development, some of the sub plots were dead ends and there was no point whatsoever in the inclusion of Sir Clifford Norton and his wife Peter who seem to have been thrown into the mix purely to show off the writer's illustrious relatives. They add nothing to the story and appear to belong in a different book altogether.

I do feel a bit guilty giving it three stars - the same rating I have just given to a much trashier book, but there was too much unfulfilled promise here. I wish she had sat on it for a year and then looked at it more dispassionately. It could have been a much better book than it is. I might look out for her next one but I hope it will have a little more fire.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of great sensitivity and intelligence 13 May 2010
This is a moving book written with great clarity in a pleasantly straightforward style from the persective of a traditional omniscient narrator. The centre of the story, if not the central character, is Thomas Ashton, a wheelchair-bound former diplomat around whom spin several female characters and their lovers. All have slightly different views and experiences of love. Most of the action takes place during the Second World War, when Ashton's stately family home in Yorkshire is turned into a boarding school for London evacuees. The atmosphere of the era and the setting is evocative and believable.

If I had one criticism of the book it would be that the final section compresses too tightly the long period from the wartime events to the final denouement, and I would have enjoyed hearing more about the character on whom this part of the book focusses. That comment, though, is really praise for the book's intelligence and sensitivity because it is very rare indeed that I find a modern novel too short.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful novel 20 Jun 2009
This is a delicately, passionately,honest and beautifully told story set in World War II. Anna is a young girl from London sent to the Yorkshire countryside to escape the Blitz. She resides in the huge home of Thomas Ashton and his wife who have converted their home into a school. Anna is a sweet, gentle serious girl who is drawn into the lives of the Ashtons. Elizabeth Ashton it unable to bear children and is bitter, resentful and deeply unhappy in her life and marriage (resulting in affairs and betrayal). Thomas Ashton is wheel chair bound due to Polio, a kind, gentle and studious man who falls in love with the quiet teacher, Ruth Weir.
The story is told in such a way that the reader is drawn into the characters lives and it really was a joy to read this short but sweet novel. This book is quite unlike many novels set in war time England as it doesnt focus on the physical, political aspects of the time but on the people who just happened to live during this period of history and how it subtly affects their lives and stories.
I loved this story and would highly recommend it to others who love a good read - and a good love story!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars not for me
The story started very well but I got bored with the book I feel the writer also got bored writing it. I finished it but actually had to force myself.
Published 4 months ago by Amelia Rae
5.0 out of 5 stars A great insight into the War Years for the evacuees
I couldn't help noticing that some people have not given this book a very favourable review and it set me to wonderfing why - because it is fabulous!!!! Read more
Published 9 months ago by K. Storch
5.0 out of 5 stars None
not normally a fan of war time fiction, but this book is not only beautifully written, but a beautiful moving novel about the power and influence of love and a lovely rendition of... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Alison L. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Nostalgia
Anna was a couple of years older than I was, so I found it very easy to relate to her and her circumstances, they were so similar to mine. Read more
Published 13 months ago by jan mangles
2.0 out of 5 stars Bored
Promising start but the author lost her way and lost my interest. Sorry but I'm glad it's over. Wouldn't be too keen to read another
Published 14 months ago by Karen Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars the very thought of you
1st class novel, good reading just what I expected from amazon, quality, delivery, back-up, totally satisfied with the goods, will continue to use Amazon again for more... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The very thought of you
I found this book a beautiful book full of emotions both happy and sad. A glimpse of a life through the war but not about war itself it is about people's life's coping through war... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Vivien Cioma
3.0 out of 5 stars Stop start..
Interesting. Quite obviously a first novel from a very well-educated mind. Spoilt for me by this very fact - the ideas were there but not at all developed maturely, either in terms... Read more
Published 16 months ago by J. Sproxton Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice!
I really enjoyed this book, ok it's not the best book I've ever read but well worth a try if you're looking for a easy read.
Published 18 months ago by Miss Joanne M. Currey
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of everything
Amid a rich historical setting we follow a cast of very 'real' characters during the second world war. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Dinah93
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Popular Highlights

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Of all the many people we meet in a lifetime, it is strange that so many of us find ourselves in thrall to one particular person. Once that face is seen, an involuntary heartache sets in for which there is no cure. All the wonder of this world finds shape in that one person and thereafter there is no reprieve, because this kind of love does not end, or not until death. &quote;
Highlighted by 11 Kindle users
Of all the many people we meet in a lifetime, it is strange that so many of us find ourselves in thrall to one particular person. Once that face is seen, an involuntary heartache sets in for which there is no cure. All the wonder of this world finds shape in that one person, and thereafter there is no reprieve, because this kind of love does not end, or not until death— &quote;
Highlighted by 10 Kindle users
Perhaps life was one long story of separation, just as Wordsworth had said. From people, from places, from the past you could never quite reach even as you lived it. &quote;
Highlighted by 8 Kindle users

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