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To Have and to Hold (Green, Jane) Hardcover – 10 May 2004

75 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (10 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767912268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767912266
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,423,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jane Green Warburg is a former journalist who gave up her job on the Daily Express to write a real woman's account of being single in the city. That account became Jane's first novel, Straight Talking. It was followed by nine more bestselling novels: Jemima J, Mr Maybe, Bookends, Babyville, Spellbound, The Other Woman, Life Swap, Second Chance and The Beach House. Jane has four children and lives in Connecticut.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Jane Green's sixth novel has a touch of Pygmalion about it. Alice Chambers, the heroine of Spellbound was known as "wallpaper" at school a "shy, mousy girl" who tended to disappear into the background. As an adult she runs a successful catering company but things remain pretty much the same. That is until Joe Mitchell, a crush from Alice's teenage years, decides to make her his fair lady: "with a diet, a decent hairdresser and a new wardrobe she'd be a whole new woman by the time he'd finished with her"--and, yes, you can grit your teeth at this very un-feminist idea! Joe works hard and earns lots of money, Alice has a lovely house and enviable clothes, and they both live happily ever after.

No of course they don't. Alice soon realises that "Joe is not the knight in shining armour she had once thought", largely due to his serial philandering. When his affair with a coworker is discovered, he is forced by his company to move to New York, and Alice goes too. It is at this point, in their new country home, that Alice is forced to face up to all that is wrong with her life. Feeling "quite happy" is no longer good enough, nor is staying with a man who "loves his wife", but who "is addicted to having affairs". It's time for Alice to pursue her own dreams, no matter how painful the process. Spellbound is an old fashioned story of metamorphosis, but told with the modern economy and wit that is Jane Green's trademark. --Eithne Farry --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jane Green lives in Connecticut with her husband, son and baby girl. She is the author of Straight Talking, Jemima J, Mr Maybe, Bookends, and Babyville. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By DevJohn01 on 16 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
I have said it before and I will say it again.... I absolutely LOVE Jane Green! With this said I have to admit that `TO HAVE AND TO HOLD' is my least favorite of her books. While the book started out strong as we delved into the lives of Alice, a plain Jane with aspirations to live a simple life in the country turned sophisticated city girl, and Joe, Alice's husband who loves the fast paced social scene of living amongst the rich and powerful in London. But as we soon find out Joe has a penchant for leggy blonds, which unbeknownst to Alice, he quite frequently acts on.
The relationships between Alice and Joe, Alice and her quirky best friend Emily, and Joe and his mistresses held my attention for about half way through the book. But by the second half `TO HAVE AND TO HOLD' really started to drag. There were long drawn out descriptions of Alice's dream home and too much talk of gardening. I also began to find myself frustrated with Alice for not seeing what was going on right underneath her nose.
If this is the first Jane Green book that you have read or are thinking about reading, please try `JEMIMA J.', `MR. MAYBE' or `BOOKENDS' any of which I guarantee you will love!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Felthouse VINE VOICE on 7 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
I read books like nobody's business and if I don't think much of one I can put it down and move onto the next without much thought. But this is one that will stick in my mind. Although it doesn't stray too far from the 'chick-lit' path (I must add I love chick-lit!!) it's definitely worth a read... it was a definite page turner because I found myself desperate to see Alice finally 'wash that man right out of her hair' to use a terrible cliche... the only thing I would criticise is the use of the house they move to as one an author used to live in. To me it only had a minor role in the book. True, it was used to move the plot on in places; but I didn't feel it was necessary. As the first of Green's book I've read, I will be reading more.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Victoria Rutter on 24 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Excuse me for thinking this but is this book not the same as Spellbound just with a new title!!!! Jane Green is my favourite authour I love all her books but how can you sell 2 books with the same story!!! Its not right.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. J. Wakenshaw on 10 Feb. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Try to ignore the lurid pink cover, Mills & Boon title and the prologue about the mysterious author which really doesn’t add anything at all to this novel. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find this is a highly enjoyable book; one which I devoured in a single, delicious sitting. Be prepared to grit your teeth at Alice’s husband Joe, who, after molding her into the beautiful, manicured society wife he thinks befits him, just can’t stay faithful. Find yourself liking Alice more and more as she finally shrugs off the image Joe has created for her and learns to love herself. Lust, just a little bit after Harry, who is obviously meant to be with Alice. And lose yourself in the vivid world Green creates – Joe’s minimalist mausoleum of a house in London’s Belgravia, and Alice’s tumbledown cozy cottage in Connecticut, the world of soulless society Gallery openings and benefits, and the friendliness of the neighbours in Suburban Highfield.
Even though this is chick lit, the characters are far from one-dimensional, and the situations they find themselves in are very believable. This is a warm, touching, gossipy and in places pretty funny book
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Woody24 on 18 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
An intense, dynamic and true to life novel, which shows the reality of the modern day world and lets some women know they are not alone.

Jane Greens "spellbound", takes every woman on a journey that if we haven't been through ourselves, we can totally absorb ourselves into and sympathise with. The unique aspect of the book is that we have an insight into each characters background and thoughts. Her choice of tense allows us to dip into each characters minds and shows us just how normal we all are when we have marriage/relationship problems.

Not only does it highlight "typical" commitment issues in a relationship, but also indicates exactly what we will put up with for the sake of love.

If you enjoy a sensible but hard gripping chick lit novel to completely dedicate a week of hard core reading - then this book is definitely for you. You wont want to put it down and by the end of it you will feel like you really know Alice and all her co-characters.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Liz Cullen on 1 Feb. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Given the weather this week, I was quite pleased to have not yet opened this book - perfect excuse to tuck up on the sofa. Jane Green, as always, has written characters that you immediately identify with and care about. Even the bad guys (Joe, Josie, Kay) are human enough to make you feel their pain as life goes off around them.
Our heroine, Alice, is compelling, showing that there is more to life than the perfect husband, a sylph-like figure and all the designer trinkets a girl could want. The commentary on her relationship with her best friend is spectacular and most twenty / thirty somethings will recognise the themes in the book.
The general premise of the book is showing how important it is to be happy, and the effects that this has on your life rather than the usual chick-lit theme of checking boxes on a list and then expecting to be happy.
I have been a fan of Jane Green's since page 1 of Straight Talking (in fact I own two copies, one to lend to friends and one for me) and as yet I have not been disappointed. Read it and weep (and laugh out loud,smile,understand, recognise and be hopeful).
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