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69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Perfect Fenton, 9 Feb 2003
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This review is from: Picking Up (Paperback)
There is no justice in the world. If there were, Kate Fenton's books would be blockbuster bestsellers. I just don't understand how Fenton's books can be so hard to track down, and such boring tripe can have seven slots per book at the airport booksellers. But I digress - should you read "Picking Up". Lord yes! As with all of Fenton's other books, it's wickedly funny, poignant, incredibly well-crafted, and (most importantly) an incredibly wonderful tale. Jo's husband of 21 years gifts her with a dream come true cottage in the country and she's over the moon. It doesn't take too long for her to find that instead of a dream, it's a nightmare. Shuttling her off to the country allowed Mike (hubby) to spend a bit more - er - quality time with his business colleague, Gaynor. Correction - their business colleague. For Jo is full and equal partner in a business that has somehow gone right down the tubes - along with her marriage. Jo knows her poor husband has been duped by his hussy and she also knows that if she can just prove it and put things to rights, he'll come back and all will be well. She remembers a chance remark about the nephew of the local Lord and tracks down Paddy to help. But this is just part of the tale - there's the local gentry and their history of loss and tragedy, Paddy's past - and future - to worry over, plus Jo's grown kids, dogs, curtains to sew...One thing becomes clear - everyone but Jo has something to hide and something to grieve over. And Jo has her own hard facts to face. I'll warn you about this - and many of Fenton's books. If you like to read exclusively about 20-somethings who show up for their job in PR/journalism/music just long enough to find out where the party is and catch their rich/young/handsome/famous man, then you'll probably want to steer clear of Picking Up. Jo is a real woman, the men are in their 40's, the children are all adults or nearly so. But Fenton manages to show us that yearnings for love and a "twin soul" don't have an age. I can't stress how funny her writing is, as well. This story would have just been a tragic weepy soap opera in the hands of a lesser writer - Picking Up doesn't come close to that, and it's due to the astounding writing skill of Fenton and her keen sense of humor that turns the tale into something wonderful. I could not put this one down and I'm now on the lookout for Balancing on Air and Dancing to the Pipers, others on Fenton's back list. And that takes me back to my opening statement - it's a crime that I have to scour the ends of the Earth to find her back list!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Romantic Comedy for Grown Ups, 9 Feb 2003
This review is from: Picking Up (Paperback)
Intelligent Romantic Comedy for grown Ups
Kate Fenton has produced another winner here, this story of Jo licking her wounds from a dodgy marriage and getting involved in all sorts of mayhem is an absolute delight, fast paced, funny and the sort of book you're really sorry to finish and are dying to forget a little so you can have the pleasure of reading it again. Highly recommended. And if you haven't read Kate's other books, do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick this one Up, 13 Jun 2003
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This review is from: Picking Up (Hardcover)
Picking Up perfectly represents why Kate Fenton is one of my favorite authors. She writes with real humor (not slap stick, go-for-the-obvious-punchline), sympathy, brutality, gentleness, ferocity, honesty, and authenticity. She has a terrific gift for language and flow. Lest this sound too much like the kind of book you had to read in school and hated, let's make it clear that she writes a darn good tale. She's not adverse to introducing somewhat preposterous situations (and there are plenty in this book) but the end effect is not farce, but simply some of the best plots I've read in my life. The protagonists are real and likeable - but far from perfect. You root for them to find their happiness. Dark secrets and shame abound, but so does laughter and love. Fenton does not receive the attention that she deserves, and you need to read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick this one Up, 13 Jun 2003
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This review is from: Picking Up (Hardcover)
Picking Up perfectly represents why Kate Fenton is one of my favorite authors. She writes with real humor (not slap stick, go-for-the-obvious-punchline), sympathy, brutality, gentleness, ferocity, honesty, and authenticity. She has a terrific gift for language and flow. Lest this sound too much like the kind of book you had to read in school and hated, let's make it clear that she writes a darn good tale. She's not adverse to introducing somewhat preposterous situations (and there are plenty in this book) but the end effect is not farce, but simply some of the best plots I've read in my life. The protagonists are real and likeable - but far from perfect. You root for them to find their happiness. Dark secrets and shame abound, but so does laughter and love. Fenton does not receive the attention that she deserves, and you need to read this book!
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Picking up
Picking up by Kate Fenton (Audio Cassette - 30 July 2003)
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