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4.4 out of 5 stars331
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 April 2016
Started well but too co fusing going back and forth in time. Afraid I gave up on reading it as it was not very interesting and hard to follow.
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on 8 May 2014
I found the description of human emotion heartbreakingly accurate, I cried my way through the latter portion of this book. A therapeutic read.
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on 30 October 2003
This is a beautiful, tender love-story and should be served with a side order of Kleenex and a twist of bitter-sweet lemon. Maggie O'Farrell's skill as a writer is in creating totally believable and sympathetic characters. She makes us care for them so much that their fate is directly linked to our emotional responses. I cannot remember the last time I howled buckets over a book O'Farrell certainly yanked on my lachrymose strings! It is also a very long time since I fell in love with the hero of a book but this hero embodies all that is honest and funny and loyal and true - irresistible! This is a multi-layered, complex, profound and deeply clever book that wears its cloak of cleverness lightly. The main thrust of the story is a narration, or stream of consciousness, by the heroine who is lying in a coma after an accident. Recent events and past unhappiness all flood to the surface as she struggles to lose her grip on life - and I do mean lose not retain her grip on life. Despite the need for Kleenex, don't be put off for the book ends on an up-beat note. This is the first book I have read by O'Farrell and I can't wait now to read everything else she has ever written. Thank you for a rare and deeply satisfying experience!
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on 23 March 2016
Very moving. A strange but successful way of telling the story from many points of view and changing moments of time. Almost perfect.
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on 16 October 2013
Brilliant read, had me laughing and crying at certain times. Would recommend to anyone. Will definitely download another title soon.
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on 8 March 2013
great how she keeps you hooked by jumping from character and time line,deep understanding of human feelings,also liked her locations
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on 5 April 2016
Love this book. First one of hers that I read and was so impressed. Actually reduced me to tears, very unusual for me when reading.
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The book is a good read, however you need to stop and think in sections, as to me it jumps from one part of a persons life events to another. For example, the character could be standing somewhere, then in the next paragraph talking with someone in bed! I found it confusing and my mind just couldn't keep up with the read. I wish I could have stayed with this book as others seems to have done, but in the end, it became so confusing to me that I didn't know if that character was in the past, months ago or now.

Perhaps my brain wasn't fast enough to catch up, but it seems to happen half way down the page and would have been better [in my opinion] to start a new chapter if its going back and forth in time.
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on 20 April 2016
This is one of those rare handful of books where 5* seems completely inadequate. I first read this probably 15 years ago and it has haunted me as one of the most emotionally powerful books I've ever read. I have just finished re-reading it - having picked it up hoping it would be as good as I remembered but slightly expecting disappointment - and was swept up just as much today as I was the previous time.

The first half is an unusual but superbly well written build-up, flitting between Alice's childhood and adulthood experiences as well as those of others around her (mainly her mother Ann and her paternal grandmother Elspeth). It is at times confusing and I wasn't sure where it was heading, but it still drew me into the characters' world and kept me reading.

The last third is an absolute emotional rollercoaster. I rarely cry, but I wept pretty much constantly during the last 100+ pages - both the first time I read it and the second.

I have since read many of Maggie O'Farrell's other books and enjoyed them all, but this is one I would say is outstanding. One of my top books of all time.
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on 3 May 2014
love the way she writes- great characters . Cannot wait to turn the page - highly recommended Have just discovered and read all.
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