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The Whole Day Through Paperback – 28 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; Reprint edition (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007306016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007306015
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. He's a passionate gardener, cook, and cellist and chairs the North Cornwall Book Festival each October. His fifteen novels include A Perfectly Good Man and Notes From an Exhibition - both of which were Richard and Judy Bookclub selections, The Whole Day Through and Rough Music. His latest, A Place Called Winter, draws intriguingly on his family history. You can find out more on his website www.galewarning.org.

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Review

‘This is a wry, clever, fautlessly crafted mini-soap threaded with sadness…beautifully written, precisely nuanced and assured’ Guardian

‘A bittersweet tale of what happens when you’re torn between duty and desire’ She

‘During the course of a summer’s day, memories are revisited, hearts, souls and consciences searched, and second chances fleetingly emerge…[Gale’s] fluid telescoping of past and present adds to the mood of quiet poignancy’ Sunday Times

‘Poignant and acutely observed’ Daily Express

About the Author

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. His most recent novels are Richard & Judy bestsellers ‘Notes from an Exhibition’ and ‘A Perfectly Good Man’.


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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By laineyf TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 July 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've never read any Patrick Gale novels before, but after reading this, I certainly will now! 'The Whole Day Through'is just excellent! It is filled with longing.....for lost loves, lost lives, lost youth, and yearning........for what was, what could be, and what is. Laura and Ben were young lovers, though socially incompatible. Laura's parents were academics, and she has had an unorthodox upbringing - her parents being naturists, and estranged from family, as well as being older parents. Ben, on the other hand comes from a happy home, he has a brother with a mosaic form of Downs Syndrome, of whom Ben is very protective. Their affair is passionate, but eventually fizzles out. Laura moves on to Paris, where she has a succession of unsatisfactory affairs, and Ben becomes a Doctor specialising in HIV. He goes on to marry Chloe, who was a very popular, pretty and rich girl at University, and not someone that Laura could ever relate to. Years later, laura returns to England to care for her now widowed and disabled elderly mother, and bumps into Ben. Some passions never die - they are merely left simmering until a chance encounter awakens them, and so it is for Ben and Laura. However, they are older now, they each have responsibilities, and ties.
This book just aches with longing, and the dilemma which faces Ben and Laura is very real, and utterly believable. I loved it, devoured it, and will read it again. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Jones on 16 July 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Typical Patrick Gale, slick and accomplished, language polished to perfection, unpredictable, a smooth surface hiding dark undercurrents. His characters always seem a tad 'Notting Hill' but he has a way of getting to the inner man (or woman) and as usual there is plenty of sex - gay and straight.

Gale is one of the few writers to portray gay characters for what they are - just like the rest of us. However, Bobby, the gay chap in this book, is not like the rest of us, he has Mosaic Down's Syndrome. This is another Gale trademark - a character suffering some obscure medical condition. He seems to be on a mission to get us all to leave aside our prejudices and treat everyone as equals. I've always liked his treament of older people, portraying them (us!) as living, breathing, sexual beings. Professor Jellicoe shows us the fragility of life as she heads towards an old age dependent on her daughter Laura, bones broken by osteoporosis. Gale has a particular sympathy with women, (a previous novel gave me the vocabulary to describe the horrors of the menopause) such a rarity in a male writer. This is one of the reasons that he is almost my favourite author, a close second to Isabel Allende.

Laura is the dutiful daughter, Ben the lover (a venereologist - is Gale a frustrated doctor?) and brother of gay/Down's Bobby. Cloe is Ben's wife, waiting on the sidelines while he chooses between her and Laura. Like most of Gale's books, there are layers upon layers and he is maturing into a very significant writer who deserves a much wider readership.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Denise hale VINE VOICE on 26 April 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had enjoyed Patrick Gale's "Notes from an Exhibition" so when I saw a new Patrick Gale on the reading list I immediately ordered it. The concept of structuring events around a single day is not a new one, Michael Cunningham brilliant "The Hours" springs to mind, but here the handling is more pedestrian.
Laura has returned from Paris to care for her elderly mother who now lives in the home town of her college boyfriend of twenty years ago. Ben, the ex-boyfriend, has returned to his childhood home to look after his brother following the death of their mother. Laura and Ben meet and their mutual attraction is rekindled, but is it really their destiny to be together?
The chapters oscillate between Laura's story and Ben's. Laura's evolves around the care of her mother, whilst Ben's centres on his avoidance of dealing with the problems in his marriage to Chloe. Whilst these two are the focus it is the other characters who will influence the relationship's outcome without even meaning to. Patrick's strength is in his understanding of why people struggle with their problems when to an outsider (like the reader) the solution may seem obvious. The colour in Patrick's books comes from the grey areas of life.
For me this book did not meet the standard set by "Notes" but I did enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Meggysmum on 19 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Laura Lewis is a self-employed accountant. She has an independent life residing in the romantic capital Paris. Unfortunately the deteriorating physical health of her aging mother, an eminent virologist, Professor Jellicoe leads to her having to return to Winchester to take up the role of carer.

Ben has also had to return to Winchester to ensure the emotional well-being of his brother Bobby who suffers from Mosaic Downs Syndrome. His beautiful wife has stayed in London awaiting his return to his prestigious medical position and to continue the adoption process that she has set her heart on.
Ben and Laura meeting by chance, many years after their teenage romance, demonstrates to them both how their lives have altered but also makes them think about the different existence that they might have had.

The peaceful ebb and flow of this novel examines losses we may all face at some point in our lives. There is the loss of opportunities never taken or opportunities that are denied us. There is the story of loss of love, regrets about relationships that were allowed to fall by the wayside and finally there is loss of health and independence, occurrences that affect both the sufferer and their families. These are all brought together sensitively and with a real flair for story telling.

I was engrossed in this book from the first page and read it quickly. There was no action and it wasn't written with cliff-hangers where I desperately wanted to know what happened next. It was written in a style that was delightful and soothing to read without being boring. I soon felt involved with the characters and was interested in their lives.

Before I started this book I expected it to be a pretty standard chick-lit novel which I thought I would enjoy. However I found it a more thought-provoking read than I expected, it was moving without being slushy and entertaining without being laugh out loud funny. I would certainly recommend it.
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