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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly fantastic
This is a wonderful, quiet little book. Published in the 1970s, it tells the story of Maria, a lonely only child who thinks very deeply about things and also has a marvellous imagination. The plot itself is not shocking or violent in any way - Maria finds a friend, they go fossil-hunting on the beach together; Maria discovers an old sampler, and starts to think about the...
Published on 12 Nov 2004

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't enjoy this much - was it meant for children
I didn't enjoy this much - was it meant for children? Bagging brownie points for understanding the child's mind, but slightly so what.
Published 19 days ago by jenny pery


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly fantastic, 12 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: A Stitch in Time (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful, quiet little book. Published in the 1970s, it tells the story of Maria, a lonely only child who thinks very deeply about things and also has a marvellous imagination. The plot itself is not shocking or violent in any way - Maria finds a friend, they go fossil-hunting on the beach together; Maria discovers an old sampler, and starts to think about the girl who made it. Added to this quietness are the elegant way the book is written, the author's sensitivity to how people behave and change with their surroundings, and Maria's own imaginings. I especially like the part when Maria imagines herself grown up:
"And having thought of this, in an off-hand sort of way, the thought suddenly took shape... so that a grown-up Maria (wearing spectacles, for some reason... and dressed in a tweed suit like Aunt Ruth's) stood before her, smiling quite benevolently, and so real it seemed almost possible that other people might see her also".
Penelope Lively's interest in history and the way time changes places can be shown through Maria, as she explores the old house and thinks about the people who used to live there. There are some very interesting thoughts in this book. Also, it's very funny. Please read it - I'm the only person in my school who has. Thank you.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best books are the ones that remind you of childhoood, 26 Jun 2003
This review is from: A Stitch in Time (Paperback)
Admittedly, the last time I read this book was 8 years ago. But Maria is one of the most memorable characters I have come across. Extraordinarily ordinary - just a child, wanting to be left alone to try and grow up. She goes on holiday with her parents, and its really one of those holidays you dream of as a child - big house to yourself, the beach, a special friendship and a mini adventure. Its a good read for the summer....and a chance to remember what it was like during those years when you were neither child nor adult.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical timeless classic for all ages, 26 Nov 2007
I first read this novel in the 1970s when i was a child, and have re-read it several as an adult. It is a lovely amospheric novel. It has a magical sense of timelessness. The character of Maria is beautifully and skillfully written. Penelope Lively cleverly evokes the feelings of a lonely eleven year old child. The reader really gets under the skin of of Maria. my favourite part of the story is how the character of Maria developes as the story progesses. I really feel that the novel gets better with each re-reading. A classic suitable for all ages. It is in part a mystery and the story of a shy young girl. The description of an english seaside holiday in 1970s britain is how i remember my own childhood holidays.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penelope Lively at her best, 5 Feb 2013
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I've read all of Penelope Lively's books and this one, although it's meant to be for children, is no disappointment. I love the fact that you never find grammatical errors or 'modern' phrases. Lively writes intelligently and manages to embroider a satisfying background and atmosphere. The protagonist of the story is believable and I could empathise with her situation. I recommend this to adults and children alike. I hope my grand-daughters will read this when they're old enough!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A story of change and changes., 5 Sep 2014
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This is a gentler story than PL's better known work The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, less humour too. I would also say this is for a slightly older reader. Maria may be 11 but the concepts and themes are quite sophisticated which would escape most 11 year olds I know. Marvellous book though. Would be a good book to discuss themes and introduce young adults to how to read a novel. And a wonderful use of the Jurassic Coast of Dorset!
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2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't enjoy this much - was it meant for children, 3 Sep 2014
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I didn't enjoy this much - was it meant for children? Bagging brownie points for understanding the child's mind, but slightly so what.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings back memories!, 2 Mar 2008
This review is from: A Stitch in Time (Paperback)
I'm over 40 now but I remember reading this book when I was about 8 years old in the late 1970s and loved it. I must have thought it was great because I remembered the title all these years!!!
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8 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Waste of Time, 29 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: A Stitch in Time (Paperback)
A Stitch in Time is a children's novel of the past and present involving a little girl on holiday with her family in Dorset. The plot is tremendously weak: Maria must discover what happened to a relative who lived in the holiday house one hundred years ago. The story revolves around the mystery of the why Harriet (the relative) did not finish a piece of embroidery. Along the way Maria (an only child) discovers a new side of herself and makes friends with other holiday goers.
I found this book utterly boring and pointless: when we finally find out the truth, the reasoning behind it is entirely stupid. I felt cheated, angry and annoyed at the end of this book: it seemed the author chose to ignore any rational thoughts and churned out an implausible ending to a highly ridiculous story.
Not recommended.
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A Stitch in Time
A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively (Paperback - 11 April 1994)
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