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on 27 August 2012
Well what can I say! I had high hopes for this as I love a good trilogy that spans decades and you really feel at one with the characters BUT i didn't love this one! why? .......well despite the writing in the first book being good, I felt I engaged with the people and their lives that started to slip away by the middle of the second book. By the time I reached the third book I was wading through what I felt was treacle, I felt no affinity for the people anymore they were transparent and boring. About 150 pages to go I had to admit defeat and give it up which I don't often do bit I got to the point I really didn't care what happened to the people that were left in the story! The first part is pretty good, second part ok, third part forget it.
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on 8 August 2013
As my Father was a Cumbrian man and I spent my teen-age years there, I decided that it really was time to read some Melvyn Bragg. (40 years later!).
I expected the books to be very heavy going, but I was wrong. They were thoroughly absorbing with characters that I became really interested in. However don't expect books full of joy and sunshine. They do depict life as it was and mostly people didn't have a great deal to be happy about. But what makes these books compelling is the quality of the writing, and the intimate knowledge of Northern Cumbria.
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This trilogy spans a couple of generations in the life of a family, taking the reader through from conditions of primitive hardship to modern times. The attention to detail in the background is masterly and the reader feels as if s/he is reliving the period described. Yet the characters are outlined rather than filled in and we are told what they feel rather than being shown their emotions. The result is that they are difficult to relate to or care about. Another problem is the dense nature of the narrative: on some pages I felt there were several stories hinted at with the potential for development but they merely clogged up the plotline. A good read in certain ways but overall rather stultifying.
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on 13 October 2012
Have enjoyed a number of Melvyn Bragg books before but sent for this one as it was required reading for my book club. The book arrived as described, prompt and well packaged. Have enjoyed the read especially as I know a lot of the families and places he mentions in the book. Good to read a book by someone with such a good grasp of the English language.
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on 2 September 2010
Very enjoyable story of a family's struggle to ensure that each generation has a more comfortable and secure life than the one before.Taking the reader through the changes taking place on the land and in industry in times of peace and war,when the old order is giving way to the new.
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on 26 December 2015
Looking forward to reading this book
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on 9 September 2015
just what my friend wanted
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