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Taylor (Orpington, Kent)

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Innocent Blood
Innocent Blood
by Baroness P. D. James
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.58

45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever - but oh so cold!, 1 Feb 2005
This review is from: Innocent Blood (Paperback)
The material is excellent: Philippa was adopted as a child. She has now turned 18 and can claim her original birth certificate - and seek out her natural mother. Philippa has grown up in the comfortable home of a celebrated academic, she is breezing through her A levels with distinction, a place at Oxford awaits her. All is secure. Until the birth certificate arrives and she makes a shocking discovery whose consequences provide the rest of the story.
Good stuff. You really feel for such a heroine, don't you? Well no, not this heroine, that's the trouble. In order to maximize the impact of the forthcoming revelations, the author has drawn Philippa as a cold and frighteningly superior young woman. And unfortunately she has succeeded in this only too well. Philippa is simply insufferable, and however much fortune rocks her stable surroundings she never loses that cold glitter of intellectual disdain. The other major character is Maurice, her adoptive father the academic, and he isn't much better either. When his first wife died Maurice married Hilda who, to please him, has become a fabulous cook, hostess and homemaker. But poor Hilda is uneducated and deplorably lower middle-class, so both Maurice & Philippa treat her with a kind of well-bred contempt. "We both wish we could love Hilda" Maurice says. Well yes, so did I, Maurice. And perhaps that is all it would have taken to redeem this book: a little less sneering and a tad more affection. A touch of ordinary, unexceptional, uncelebrated, non-class-conscious human feeling.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2012 8:27 PM BST

When Kids Kill: Unthinkable Crimes of Lost Innocence (Virgin True Crime)
When Kids Kill: Unthinkable Crimes of Lost Innocence (Virgin True Crime)
by Jonathan Paul
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 5.96

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious research, serious insight, 1 Feb 2005
Despite the gaudy title this is not a sensationalist work. On the contrary, the author has taken one of the most emotive subjects on earth, researched it thoroughly and written a work of real psychological insight without ever raising his authorial voice. A must-read for anyone with a serious interest in criminal psychology, this book helps us to understand that demonizing children is not merely unethical but utterly unhelpful, and also raises the question of whether the adult should be punished for the crimes of the child. Excellent throughout.

Painting Ruby Tuesday
Painting Ruby Tuesday
by Jane Yardley
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant, 28 Jan 2005
This review is from: Painting Ruby Tuesday (Paperback)
I bought this in Sydney and read it on the flight home, a multi-delay 30-hour journey from hell, and just buried myself in this. It is gorgeous. There's a clever mystery, great jokes, passages so touching you could cry, and a heroine who is completely irresistible. An absolute must read.

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