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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polished and honest
Anita has grown up in the shadow of her older brothers; they are idolized by her patrician mother whilst she always falls short, 'they were in a silver frame and she was loose in the photograph box'. Now in her early thirties Anita is still drifting and "By Battersea Bridge" presents us with a picture of her life, gradually illuminated by past and present episodes...
Published on 23 April 2012 by Eleanor

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars By Battersea Bridge
Anita Mostyn has always lived in the shadow of her brothers and feels her parents regard her as a nuisance rather than an individual in her own right. She has what everyone considers is a dead end job in a London gallery when a friend offers her what is really a free holiday in Bulgaria. She has to travel around while she's there and take photographs of properties which...
Published on 4 July 2012 by Damaskcat


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not enlightening. Not entertaining. Not interesting, 8 July 2013
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Amazon don't let you give no stars, which is a shame. You will not be interested in the characters in this book - there is nothing to relate to about any of them. You will not be intrigued by any aspect of the plot or its development. You will not be amused or edified. The book contains some unexpected metaphors and no mistakes of spelling or grammar, but that doesn't mean it's well-written. If you finish this book you will end up more depressed than when you started.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars By Battersea Bridge, 4 July 2012
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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Anita Mostyn has always lived in the shadow of her brothers and feels her parents regard her as a nuisance rather than an individual in her own right. She has what everyone considers is a dead end job in a London gallery when a friend offers her what is really a free holiday in Bulgaria. She has to travel around while she's there and take photographs of properties which might be of interest to British people wanting to buy abroad. Perhaps this could be the start of a whole new life.

It soon becomes clear to the reader, as Anita's past is revealed, that she won't rise to the challenge and it is not really a surprise when she makes a mess of her assignment. I kept wondering whether Anita's brothers were really as marvellous as both she and her parents seem to think they are. Barney and Mark did not really come over clearly to me and it was as though Anita had turned them into something they clearly weren't. I'm afraid by the end of the book I could sympathise with Anita's parents and understand why they treated her as they did.

Both her parents and her brothers were - intentionally or unintentionally - cruel to her but she never really seemed to fight back and took on family guilt which was really nothing to do with her. I have given the book two stars because it kept me reading simply because I was annoyed with Anita and wanted her to get on with her own life instead of being used and discarded by almost everyone who drifted into her orbit.

The author's style of writing is not that memorable and I felt I could have been reading almost any other literary middle brow novel of the twenty first century. If the author set out to create a heroine who was a drooping and drippy wet mess then she succeeded admirably but if she wanted the reader to sympathise with Anita she failed dismally as far as I was concerned. Not a novel for me I'm afraid though others may enjoy it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polished and honest, 23 April 2012
By 
Eleanor (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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Anita has grown up in the shadow of her older brothers; they are idolized by her patrician mother whilst she always falls short, 'they were in a silver frame and she was loose in the photograph box'. Now in her early thirties Anita is still drifting and "By Battersea Bridge" presents us with a picture of her life, gradually illuminated by past and present episodes.

Davey is an excellent writer and her upper middle class world felt very real. Characters and situations are brought to life in just a sentence, sometimes humorous ("He could dance - which was more than could be said for her brothers, who had unlearned rhythm at prep school.") but sometimes painfully sad.

The only slightly unsatisfying aspect of the book was Anita. Whilst the other characters were vividly present and alive, I found her hard to visualize as the details we are told of her didn't seem to make a coherent whole. I think this is deliberate though, being a reflection of her outsider status both within and without her family and her own uncertainty about 'how to be'.

I had never come across Janet Davey or her work before, but on the basis of this polished moving novel I will definitely be reading more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars By Battersea Bridge, 13 April 2014
By 
Sandford "Sandy" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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Anita experiences life from the edges. Feeling awkward and uncomfortable amongst family and friends, the often coded means of communication in the family script is elusive to her. The author uses a lovely phrase when she sums up a conversation in the family, being like a “verbal sonatina”, a mix of inconsequence and lacking real substance. The evident vulnerability she has results in an almost constant state of anxiety as she is unable to fit in. To be unfavoured and insignificant is her perceived her role in the family in comparison to the relative idolisation her brothers receive from their mother.

It is interesting how some readers comments act out these feelings, criticising Anita, the very unconscious processes that seem to fuel views and opinions of her projected from the novel. Very few seem to have an empathic view of her, but I sense a woman who is lost, and lives a life always at some level of depression.

The understated ending of the novel does give some hope and a potential positive for Anita’s future. She is travelling forward, but who knows where.
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3.0 out of 5 stars `The words didn't come out as a story', 8 Dec 2013
By 
Mrs. Katharine Kirby "Kate" (HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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Anita's excuses to Laurence are described as above, which I thought sadly summed up the whole book. Meandering miserably down memory lane, each chapter was a guessing game as to where we were along a torturous path; meeting at a terrifying crossroads or walking under dark shadows.

This faint, smudged sort of narration tasted of a present day Brookner. Bathed in a low-key miasma of melancholia, the reason for Anita's dislocation, `Some Sort of Accident' is revealed over half way through the book. Awful and guilt inducing as it is, her reaction is so deep and damaging as to make one feel the reviled, less openly affected characters of her parents are actually in the right. People do care for her, all around, when they have a moment to spare from their busy days for the Austenesque spinster. Living eternally on the edge of other's lives she has perpetually suffered from the `Two's company, Three's a Crowd' syndrome.

Dreamily drifting through days of introspection and pretence, I felt as though I were accompanying a weakened friend. Weddings come and go, so sharply described, you could be there, or not as was the case for one. That is the plus of the book, some exquisite observations and touching phrases.

Unfortunately the ending leaves you mid air, which might not matter if you are of a less tidy frame of mind but I felt it just stopped.

And where does 'Battersea Bridge ' come into it?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely writing but a bit of a let down, 17 Oct 2013
By 
B. Roche "somethingisrotten" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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here are some lovely, lovely lines in this book, but both myself (and my wife, who read it after me) were disappointed with the ending. Without giving anything away, it just kind of stops, leaving the reader with the lasting impression that something is missing.

That aside - and some readers are less worried about conclusions - this is a well written book that is worth dipping into for the delicate descriptions.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I really didn't get this book, 2 Aug 2013
By 
Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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Anita has been overlooked in her family and now feels overlooked in her life. She takes a job which is created for her in Bulgaria but doesn't stay long and comes back to London whilst pretending she is still abroad. She lies to everyone she knows. She eventually turns up at her bother's second wedding at which time we see flashbacks of the first wedding when a terrible tragedy happened which has affected Anita ever since. She continues to behave oddly and then the book is over.

I had a lot of trouble with this book. I didn't understand the title - when I reached the end I was pretty sure that Battersea Bridge had never been mentioned in the text but I am certainly not rereading to check this so there is a possibility that I skimmed over it. I also didn't understand what my reaction was supposed to be to Anita. She does have anxiety problems and has been traumatised by an event in the past and continually let down by her family - was I supposed to identify with her, pity her, or understand her ? I failed to do any of these things - in fact, I found her very irritating and if I had paid for her to go to Bulgaria and she had lied to me I would have at least expected an apology irrespective of her anxiety levels.

The ending of the book was inconclusive - the blurb seemed to imply that Anita was rising above her problems but I didn't see it. I also found the way in which the flashbacks were included in the narrative confusing as it often took a sentence or two to realise that we were back in the past - this may be a clever literary device to show that the past and the present are inseparable but it irritated me.

I really didn't get this book. I have outlined above why I had issues with it but it is very possible that other readers may find the book engaging in a way that I did not and that the shortfall is with me. I prefer something with more plot and where I can understand or identify with the main character.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK but I did not enjoy it., 3 July 2013
By 
BusyReader "mrs28" (Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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Well written with good descriptive text and nice character development and descriptions , and flits back and forth in time to tell the tale ....which confused me at times and which concentrates on family relationships and thus then explains the main characters actions .
But .... It is not my kind of book , too sad and too slow for me.
I will definitely try other works by this author as perhaps I can enjoy her other offerings better?
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3.0 out of 5 stars SO WELL WRITTEN BUT WEAK STORYLINE, 14 Jun 2013
By 
Mrs. C. Swarfield - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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Anita is the younger sibling of Mark and Barney Mostyn, and has grown up
somewhat in their shadow. She feels unloved and undervalued by her brothers
and her parents - her mother in particular does not seem to have or at the
least show any maternal bond to her.

On a whim Anita decides to go to Bulgaria with her friend Lawrence. The story
follows Anita her on her journey and I kept waiting for the plot to open up but sadly
it didn't. Whilst beautifully written I found it tedious Anita particularly
irksome. It is a story that for me lacks conviction and I felt honour bound to
keep with it as it is a review of Amazon otherwise I think I would have given
up halfway through. The one thing I did identify with was Ivor saying how he
hates nowadays - as I hear it so many times said in different ways, all in all
an OK read, superb prose just not for me.
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2.0 out of 5 stars i found it became a little tedious,sorry, 14 May 2013
By 
s "s" (north west) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: By Battersea Bridge (Hardcover)
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The story tells of Anita Mostyn who doesn't feel as loved in life as her Brothers and feels her parents see her as a nuisance.She works in a London Gallery and is offered the chance to go to Bulgaria by a friend.I really thought the book would begin here but it didn't seem to get started for me.Anita is a character who never fights back and the story just became a little tedious and forgettable.
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By Battersea Bridge
By Battersea Bridge by Janet Davey (Hardcover - 12 April 2012)
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