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Tin Toys Trilogy: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC Book 112) [Kindle Edition]

Ursula Holden , Lisa Allardice(on mat leave)
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

Born into an affluent family, Bonnie, Tor and Ula have been left to the feckless embrace of the cook and their nanny. Their father is dead. Their glamorous mother is away entertaining the troops.

When their infant brother falls ill and dies, the household disintegrates. In Tin Toys, Ula escapes with Cook, barely out of girlhood herself, and lands at the mansion of an enigmatic matriarch. In Unicorn Sisters, the three sisters are sent to a shabby English boarding school where the pupils are pitted against an anarchic gang of East End evacuees. A Bubble Garden finds the girls in Ireland, where they scrape a life in a crumbling, once-grand farmhouse, while their mother and her new husband are mired in their private traumas. A uniquely compelling and powerful coming-of-age classic.

Product Description


Extraordinarily good in its penetration into a child's happiness and unhappiness. (Molly Keane)

Seriously radiant. (The Times)

Ursula Holden is a highly original writer . . . She has an abrupt, disconcerting wit. (Irish Times)

Superb . . . the deceptively simple style conveys the dark undercurrents of violence, of developing sexuality, and the betrayals and corruptions of the adult world. (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

Ursula Holden's classic trilogy weaves a vivid, dramatic and mysterious story of three sisters coming of age in England and Ireland during the war years.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 554 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1844088278
  • Publisher: Virago (17 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00934YKLO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #184,779 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tin Toys Trilogy 13 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Set before, during and just after WWII, this stunning trilogy consists of the novels Tin Toys, Unicorn Sisters and A Bubble Garden. Centre of the novels are the three sisters, Bonnie, Tor and Ula, whose father has died before the first book, leaving them in the care of a glamorous, flighty and neglectful mother. From the start, the girls are always outsiders - even when we first meet Ula at her dance class, we are aware that the girls never quite fit in to any situation. Everything looks fine from the outside, with a nice home, a governess, housekeeper and 'Nurse'. Scratch below the surface though and there is a feeling of disquiet. Nurse is really an elderly relative, the housekeeper a young girl who pines for her home in Ireland and it is debatable how good an education the two elder girls are receiving. In the first book, a tragedy (the first of many) leads to Ula being sent to Ireland with Maggie, the housekeeper. The story is told from Ula's point of view, as we follow her on a trip to the country we will again visit in "A Bubble Garden".

The middle novel, "Unicorn Sisters" is set in a school, during the war years. 'Mamma', ever keen to discharge her responsibilities, sends her children off to boarding school - not even entering to meet the Headmistress before bolting in a taxi, and making the girls feel their difference to other girls yet again. This is, arguably, the lightest read, with evacuees lending a certain dark humour to the situation, as the school collapses under a lack of staff and ending in a farcical Christmas pageant held for disbelieving parents. Again, left abandoned, the girls make their unwanted way homeless and "A Bubble Garden" then leads to a summer in Ireland, where Mamma attempts to make a new life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book 5 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Purchased this following a review on BBC Radio 4. Very interesting books, each one written from the point of view of a different sister covering different periods of their neglected childhood. I plan to read more of this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I would thoroughly recommend this book. 5 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love the way this book is written. I was particularly impressed by the way Ms Holden really gets inside the minds of these young people; she really seems to understand the confusion that sometimes goes on inside their heads, especially in stressful situations.

Having read the book I offered it to my thirteen-year-old daughter who is now enjoying reading it too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 24 Mar. 2013
By emeline
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this trilogy to be fascinating,the writing is beautiful,strong and descriptive. The plots and characters are very cleverly interwoven.Sorry it had to end.
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