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Worst Fears [Paperback]

Fay Weldon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
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Book Description

1 July 2008

A classic tale of how a perfectly knitted life can unravel in the space of days.

Alexandra Ludd is an actress, playing Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. In the eyes of the world she has everything a woman could want: husband, home, child, income; good looks, good friends, the plaudits of the crowd and the affection of neighbours. But Alexandra inspires envy as well as love: she was unwise to forget it: she was complacent, perhaps a little vain – and all fate has to do to bring her down is to snip a single strand…

Worst Fears is the story of how bereavement can turn love hollow and truth destroy a past. It is a headlong, headstrong tale of anger and forgiveness, of worst fears realised but, in the end, best wishes granted.


Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007291892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007291892
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 632,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘The literary equivalent of a stiff drink, a dip in the Atlantic in January, a pep talk by a midly sadistic coach. A snappy whodunnit of the heart.’
New York Times

‘It is unputdownable. I cannot remember a heroine tripping over quite so many banana skins in such a short space of time. Her every tumble is a delight. But it is a terrific read and, for those of a misanthropic bent, a primer in human callousness and perfidy.’
Sunday Telegraph

From the Back Cover

Alexandra Ludd is an actress, playing Nora in Ibsen’s 'A Doll’s House'. In the eyes of the world she has everything a woman could want: husband, home, child, income, good looks, good friends, the plaudits of the crowd and the affection of neighbours. But Alexandra inspires envy as well as love: she was unwise to forget it: she was complacent, perhaps a little vain – and all fate has to do to bring her down is to snip a single strand …

'Worst Fears' is the story of how bereavement can turn love hollow and truth destroys a past. It is a headlong, headstrong tale of anger and forgiveness, of worst fears realised but, in the end, best wishes granted.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable story on betrayal and trust 3 Feb 2003
Format:Paperback
“Moving” is not the right word to describe this study of “worst case scenario”- it has been many years since I’ve read a book that make made blood boil in sympathy quite as much as WF does.
The novel starts off with the main character, Alexandra, in a bad position- her much loved and cherished husband, Ned, has died. Then, much like a who-dunnit, Alexandra pieces the puzzle of what kind of a man Ned really was. And this being a Fay Weldon the answer is simply- not a very nice one.
Of course the story isn’t as simple as that- once Alexandra hits one unpleasant surprise another one is just round the corner. At times the amount of horrendous things that happens to our heroine can seem very theatrically over exaggerated but this fits in very well with Alexandra’s occupation as an actor and Weldon’s ideas on relationships between men and women and women together.
After the first chapter, which seems very ordinary, the Weldon lets the novel zip along scattering a healthy layer amusing, vile and disagreeable (if sometimes slightly clichéd and unrealistic) characters until you are almost in pain for Alexandra. The character of Vilna, especially, seems a rich Eastern European female stereotype with her tastelessness and lack of tact.
This is more a book more likely to be appreciated by an intelligent female readership. Men may be quite insulted by Weldon’s frequent portrayal of them being the villains of the piece. Nevertheless, although WF is a real page-turner it still has its hidden agenda that keeps the book in your mind long after the last paragraph has been read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story - awful formatting 5 July 2014
Format:Paperback
This is absorbing reading; a high quality story, told well, but I expect no less from Fay Weldon.

What really annoyed me was the formatting - random blank lines, inconsistent with the paragraphing, and no first line indent. It was visually displeasing, distracting when reading, slightly confusing at times. It is a totally unnecessary gimmick and the publishing team should be ashamed of themselves.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 'Do Other Men or They'll Do You' 6 Mar 2014
By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The 'law of business' uttered by Anthony Chuzzlewit in Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit, 'Do Other Men Or They'll Do You' should be the motto for this novel. Actress Alexandra is well and truly 'done over', after a marriage in which she's attempted to appear lovely and gracious at all times, when her husband Ned Ludd proves, after his sudden death from a heart attack, to have been a bigamist, a compulsive liar and a serial philanderer. Alexandra put her trust in Ned, and by doing so looks set to lose everything - her home, her job playing Nora in an acclaimed production of Ibsen's 'A Dolls' House', her savings and her self-respect. And that's not all - how exactly and why did Ned die? Why is his therapist so keen to treat Alexandra? And why are his ex-mistresses and wives popping up everywhere? Fortunately, Alexandra is a girl of spirit, and manages to keep buoyant as she fights her way out of her various dilemmas in a novel that teeters between farce and tragedy.

I have to confess I didn't enjoy this novel at all to begin with (the main theme - that you can't trust anyone, even a loved one - seemed to me bleak in the extreme). However, about half-way through, during one of Alexandra's tangled conversations with Ned's gushy therapist Leah, I found myself laughing - and I alternated between feeling very amused and rather dispirited throughout the rest of the book. Weldon has a shrewd observing eye and a good sense of the ridiculous, and pokes some good and witty fun at the theatre world and at self-help, while also showing how exciting working as an actress can be. Her heroine Alexandra has a good, witty repartee, and I liked her spirit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Downhill all the way 28 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Starting with the death of a beloved husband, in the hands of most writers this would be a low point, from which the life of the main character, a successful and attractive actress, could only go on up. It doesn't. Her entire existence, circle of friends, career, economy and marriage turn out to be based on a tissue of lies, not one of which she had suspected. The downward slide is remorseless and sustained, bearable only because she observes it rather than suffering from it, bobbing on the surface of the maelstrom and most of the tome, faintly amused by her predicament. I enjoyed her company all the way. If there are such strong and independant women in the Arts, I want to meet them. I suspect, however, that Fay Weldon has invented another stereotype to serve as the ideal for lesser mortals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant classic Weldon. 18 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
perhaps some truths can only be told with Welson's wry eye - at once delicate and smooth then clubbing you round the head with a mallett.
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