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This Holey Life Paperback – 1 Aug 2012

74 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (1 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908775971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908775979
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sophie is the winner of the 2010 Luke Bitmead Writers Bursary and the Yeovil Literary Prize 2006.

'The Generation Game' is her debut novel and is inspired by Sophie's childhood growing up in a sweet shop in Torquay. Her second novel, 'This Holey Life', is about a reluctant curate's wife. Both are published by Legend Press.

As part of Creative Writing Matters, Sophie appraises manuscripts, runs workshops and mentors novelists.

She lives by the seaside in Devon with her husband, three teenagers and two Tibetan Terriors. She can often be found in her shed at the bottom of the garden.

Product Description

Review

'By turns deeply moving and funny, the narrative zips along in an appealing and spirited voice.' --Kate Long

'Sophie Duffy explores grief and the vagaries of inter-family relationships with her usual blend of warmth, wit and wisdom. A triumph.' --Margaret Graham

'Sophie Duffy is a real find. Sharp as a tack' --Laurie Graham --Laurie Graham

About the Author

Sophie Duffy lives in Teignmouth on the south coast of Devon with her family. She has been writing for over ten years and is the winner of the Luke Bitmead Bursary and the Yeovil Literary Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize.

She is interested in what family is, and how our past shapes our here and now. Memory, childhood, loss and love are recurrent themes in her novels. Sophie taught in primary schools in London for 14 years and is now a youth worker in Devon. www.sophieduffy.com


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By June Doll TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is a realistic depiction of life - the good, the bad and the ugly! The heroine is Vicky who lives in a small terraced house in London with her three young daughters and her curate husband. She is on maternity leave following the birth of her last child. She loves her husband and children but has never got over the sudden and totally unexpected deaths of both her mother and baby son some years before. The death of her son, in particular, haunts her every day. Life is, therefore, something of a struggle for Vicky. She has also not got to grips with the sudden religious conversion of her husband Steve. He was a plumber and now, after something of an epiphany, is a curate. Vicky has never really come to terms with this and does not really see herself as a curate's wife.

Vicky's already difficult life is further complicated when her older brother (whom she does not get on with) arrives suddenly at her home on Boxing day with his teenage son. He has split up from his wife and takes up residence in Vicky's already cramped home. This is not her only problem as further problems ensue, one after the other.

If the above description makes this book sound like a tale of misery, it is anything but. It is warm-hearted and humorous. Vicky may have her problems but she copes, she survives. The characterisation is excellent. All of the characters, down to the months old baby, are vividly and realistically drawn. All of the characters are flawed, just like the rest of humanity, but they are likeable and believable and the reader cannot help but empathise with them. In particular we root for Vicky - we want her to survive and prosper.

This is a lovely novel, true to life, sad at times, but warm-hearted, humorous and sometimes though-provoking. I thoroughly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BusyReader VINE VOICE on 11 May 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Found this a good read, Vicky is a curates wife , her husband Steve was originally a plumber but had a "calling" and has now become a curate , they have 3 girls and a chaotic family life which Vicky juggles around childcare and trying to be a good vicars wife .
Vickys brother then arrives on the scene bringing with him his son , having left his wife and expects Vicky to put he and his son up. Also her widowed father is unwell and we see Vicky learning about her dads new relationship , and trying to support her dad as well . Needless to say this gives little time for Vicky to cope with her own life and sadness as we find she had a baby boy who died from a cot death not so very long ago.
The book flits between Vickys teen years and her present lfe and sometimes other characters narrate the tale , it's a poignant story which readers will relate to and has some nice humerous elements along with excellent descriptive text . My only criticism would be that Vickys 3 year old daughter is very well advanced for her age ( I have 3 year old nieces) and her speech is more that of a 6 year old.
I will definitely look out for more by this author.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sandford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a male with a pretty strong feminine side, I do enjoy reading some chick lit/romance. However, I do get rather perplexed at times with a certain skewing of reality that some authors employ. This either over-romanticises us, (e.g. melting eyes, bended knee proposals etc), or are otherwise portrayed with overly negative traits summed up in a message as, "Yes, all men really are bastards and they are never to be trusted".

In Sophie Duffy we have one author who seems to have got the equation more balanced, and doesn't move into escapism or fantasy to make the whole thing work. She pitches the degree of emoting just right. This results in an engaging and credible read, that is not fantastically overblown with romantic clichés . She has a writing skill that moves naturally between emotions, allowing space for characters to develop in a satisfying way.

I warmed to Vicky, this multi-skilled and likeable person, dealing with the maelstrom of daily life. I think we can all recognise that particular lack of assertiveness she exhibits when bombarded by others' demands. Saying "yes" when we actually want to say "no" when we are fraught and tired is so common, leading as with Vicky, to further frustration.

Vicky's brother Martin is such a recognisable character, with his annoying traits, idiosyncrasies and irritating habits. Sophie Duffy has created a credible, realistic figure here, (albeit edging on caricature at times) with some redeeming features making him quite likeable by the end.

Both comic and tragic, it is a simple and honest novel with a straightforward but empathetic look at emotion and the human condition. There is a definite sense of hope here, that in the end life is worth all the strife, problems and hurdles it throws at us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FLB TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Vicky is still grieving over her dead son, her plumber husband has just found God and become a vicar. Add to this her three daughters and then her misfit brother arrives with his son after a domestic fallout.

Some very engaging banter and the author deals with the subject of death and families in a delicate and sensitive way.

I did enjoy this book in the main, the only disagreement I would have is the main characters view on parenting, she thinks that mums should stay at home and run the family, is this woman from the Victorian era?

Most modern women would probably have feelings over this viewpoint, that being said this is an entertaining book and well worth reading.
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