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Whatever You Love

Whatever You Love [Kindle Edition]

Louise Doughty
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description


Doughty creates a haunting, heart-wrenching portrait. (Psychologies)

The opening chapter is electrifyingly painful. From then on the reader is spellbound ... the book is hauntingly believable ... so powerful is the evocation of raw emotion that, the day after i finished it, I woke up with that same feeling. It was some minutes before I realised I was still inside Doughty's book. (A N Wilson Readers Digest)

It is an extraordinarly opening, written with such taut understatement that the mother's grief is given a visceral power: we empathise with it immediately ... Whatever You Love is a masterfully constructed novel, at once gripping and tender ... The emotional power of Doughty's prose is such that the reader is complicit in Laura's journey from loss to retribution. Doughty forces us to confront the darkness that lies beneath the skin. The result is a brilliant and brutal novel that continues to unsettle long after the final page has been turned. (Observer)

Absorbing (Grazia)

A stunning tale of grief and the lengths to which a woman must go to come to terms with it. (Woman and Home)

Brilliant, disturbing, heart-wrenching. (Daily Mirror)

Book Description

An astonishing novel of love, loss, and revenge from highly acclaimed writer Louise Doughty.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 456 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction (19 Aug 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042JSSGS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,645 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read with much to think about 26 Jun 2010
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Whatever You Love" is the first Louise Doughty book I've read and I really enjoyed it. The novel is ostensibly about the loss of Laura's daughter, Betty, whose death we learn of in the first page of the prologue and the impact that it has on Laura's life and the people around her. After the prologue the book is structured into 4 parts which alternate between "before" and "after" the events of Betty's death and provide detailed insight into the life of Laura with a final short epilogue.

The book synopsis on the jacket focusses on the vengeance that Laura wants to take against the man who killed Betty. While this is certainly a strong element of the story, it's somewhat misleading as the story is really about the relationship between Laura and her husband David. Although the book isn't quite what the jacket blurb suggests, it is still a riveting read and I stayed up late one night to read the last 100 pages.

It's a book that made me think - why were people behaving as they were, how do people deal with grief and loss, how perspective changes how a relationship appears to be. Doughty has a lovely realistic feel to her writing; there's a line where she describes a scene where a jar of mayonnaise is thrown and smashes and Doughty writes "Why does mayonnaise go translucent when it gets warm? Am I the only one who finds that sinister?" I just loved that simple observation (and I also think it's sinister!). There are other lovely simple observations that make the characters seen more real.

I'll definitely be looking at Doughty's other books. A recommended read if you like psychological thrillers/suspense that don't follow a standard plot.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a contender. 2 May 2011
Narrated in the first person, the story opens with the death of Laura's nine year old daughter. It backtracks to Laura's relationship and subsequent marriage to David, then David's relationship with another woman. Reading this was like a punch in the stomach. The grief is so raw, the betrayal so bitter.

I'm not generally a fan of thrillers but this is so much more. Intelligent and well-written, it drags you kicking and screaming into its angry passionate heartbroken maelstrom. It would make a great TV adaptation - and I'm guessing that's why it didn't make the Orange shortlist - it does have that made-for-TV feel. Most likely it didn't come across as literary enough for the judges. All I know is I didn't want to go to bed I was so gripped by it, and it was the first thing I thought of when I woke in the morning. A fantastic read and I was on the verge of giving it five stars (I award this accolade rarely in proportion to the amount I read) but thought I would reflect on it a bit first. This was a useful check because after a week or so it had lost a lot of its effect and it didn't stay in my head. Its power is in its urgency and immediacy.

I would definitely recommend it though. An absolute page-turner.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars had potential, but disappointingly flawed 29 Nov 2010
By Anna
There was a lot to like about this book: the exploration of grief and the immediate post-bereavement period was well handled and written in a confident, engaging style. I also liked the portrayal of the couple's relationship and thought that was realistic and well observed; the transition from the feverish beginnings of the relationship to the weary couple brought together through the shared bereavement was nicely handled.

However, the book's main failing was that the author seemed not to have had the confidence to make the book just that: an exploration of grief and a study of a relationship. Instead, we get a very poorly developed revenge sub-plot, which is farcical, poorly developed and never ignites. Simultaneously the author goes off on yet another ill-advised tangent with the sub-plot of the letters; again, lacking in realism, worthy of a bad made-for-TV movie and demanding a level of suspension of disbelief that I found impossible (the number of times I was rolling my eyes and saying "Oh come ON!"). As a result, the book seems not to know what it wants to be and I think it suffers from that.

And finally, Faber & Faber, get your act together and use some decent copyeditors and proofreaders. The book was littered with spelling mistakes and typos, which I found distracting and which undermined the book. You are left thinking that if the publisher doesn't care about the book enough, why should we?
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whatever you love 14 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was not what I expected at all, as I started it I didn't actually think I was going to like it but I was pleasantly surprised and found myself really enjoying it, though it's a painful and sad read, particularly when you have a child of similar age to the little girl who is killed in an accident.
But I think the blurb is somewhat misleading, it implies that the book focuses on the dead child's mother seeking revenge on the driver who killed her. This is only a brief part of the story, and not even the climax. The book tells the story of how Laura, the mother, met her husband and married him, and then subsequently lost him to another woman, and then the aftermath of losing her daughter. Had that been the blurb I would probably not have read it, but as it is, it manages to be a riveting read throughout. I certainly would never have guessed what happens.
Interesting and different, and very well written.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not for me
Published 1 day ago by Elaine Dobson
1.0 out of 5 stars got bored and decided I didn't need to read any more
Took to long to get started, got bored and decided I didn't need to read any more.
Published 6 days ago by Gabrielle Whitty
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
I was introduced to Louise Doughty for the first time when I devoured Apple Tree Yard. I immediately wanted to read something else by her but I'm sorry to say found this book bland... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Carole
4.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book
I am now a Louise Doughty fan. I intend to read all of her books.
Published 12 days ago by Elizabeth Frazer
1.0 out of 5 stars I've seldom read a novel whose main character is so ...
I've seldom read a novel whose main character is so self-obsessed and only able to express her own feelings without much regard for those of others. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Sylvia Thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this writer, Can't get enough of her. So clever!
Published 19 days ago by Carol Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another brillianr book from Doughty
Published 20 days ago by Mossmo
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read
Published 23 days ago by sindybelle
3.0 out of 5 stars ... books from this author whose writing style I have enjoyed, I was...
Having read other books from this author whose writing style I have enjoyed, I was sadly disappointed with this one. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Lucy lu
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not as good as her newest novel "Apple Tree Yard"
Published 1 month ago by Anne
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Popular Highlights

 (What's this?)
I had to hurt someone because of all the things that were hurting me and how I would never have seen it that way at that time. I think how there is always a way we can justify ourselves to ourselves, make ourselves moral, heroic even – even Edith probably believes herself to be an honest, decent person. There is no end to it, I think. &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users
Love built on pain – the kind that lasts: whatever we love can be taken away from us at any moment but the loss of what we love belongs to us forever. &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users
‘Well, there’s a price to pay with a boy like our David, I suppose.’ &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users

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