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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ghosts were dead people who hadn't had time to tell their stories..."
I adored this book and it would grace any Booker or Orange Prize shortlist. Roberts deals with some heartbreaking and difficult issues through the narratives of Jeanne, Marie-Angele and others. Roberts creates individual voices through some wonderful prose and I loved the imagery she uses which develops the psychology of the women revealing their fears and and hurts...
Published on 31 May 2012 by Chaucer

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't listen to Noel Coward
Noel Coward gave some sage, though painful, advice to writers - 'Murder Your Darlings' - this basically meant that when you fall in love with the seductiveness of your own writing, you need to get out that scalpel and cross out pen, and be ruthless. Admittedly, he was referring to witty theatrical bon mots and one-liners that make the playwright laugh themselves to...
Published 11 months ago by Lady Fancifull


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex, compelling and beautifully told story of abuse, loss and love., 23 May 2013
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This review is from: Ignorance (Kindle Edition)
This is one of the best books I've read this year. It's a multi layered tale, exploring some very difficult and deeply emotive issues, particularly around attitudes towards and difficulties experienced by Jews in Occupied France. It's a book which defies categorisation into a specific genre, because although there's a 'love interest' it's not a romance. Neither is it a war story; that merely provides the setting for the deeper issues involved.

The story moves forward in chapters which take up the tale from the POV of different, closely connected individuals. It's a narrative device which works very well, giving a slightly different perspective each time. Imogen Robert's prose is exquisite; poetic, lyrical and truly sensuous. The pages are filled with taste, texture, smell and a real feel for life in a rural and myopic French village. The creepy priest 'playing' with the little girls is a particularly haunting image. I loved it and will look for other books by Ms Roberts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars didn't really grip me, 23 May 2013
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This review is from: Ignorance (Kindle Edition)
An interesting storyline told from a variety of perspectives, but it just didn't grip me. I found the lack of speech punctuation quite annoying, too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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Very interesting and enjoyable read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moved to silence., 19 Jun 2014
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Beautifully written account of two young women's lives in a small village in France during the German occupation in WW2. An aptly titled novel. Sometimes though, I felt more overwhelmed by the writing than by the story itself. A story which I would have preferred to be limited to the main two characters of Marie-Angele and Jeanne. I am now ordering another of Michele Roberts' novels as I obviously have a huge lacuna to fill, having never read her. What an amazing writer. Truly beautiful writing. A must read for any lover lovers of true lit fiction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but Slightly Overcooked, 2 May 2014
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There are a lot of reviews here for this book but just to say Michele Roberts writes really well even if at times she slips into creative writing course mode and overdoes it a bit. The interlinked family stories and wartime France keep the plot rolling. Sometimes there is rather too much of characters staggering around, the floor and walls moving, darkness and no direction so you feel a bit queasy in sympathy but I enjoyed the read. Probably, quite a lot of the book is about her real mother and how she arrived in England so you should maybe forgive the excesses.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 25 Jan 2014
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I enjoyed this book. At times it was confusing as if the author had gone off in a dream of her own but beautifully written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Will the Kingdom of Heaven be Theirs?, 18 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Ignorance (Kindle Edition)
There is a sweet beauty about this book, that might have been titled "innocence" or "honesty" or "lies", in so far as the behaviour of human beings in difficult situations is somewhat mercilessly exposed. As children in a French town in the 1930s Jeanne and Marie-Angele are friends, but Jeanne's father is dead and her mother is a Jewess (convert), while Marie's parents have a shop; they are better off. When Jeanne's mother falls ill the local nuns take her daughter in and she boards with Marie. The nuns make clear that Marie is the good girl, Jeanne they treat badly because of her origins. Their fates are decided. The novel takes their lives and their relationship through the war, the persecution of the Jews in France and the liberation. We see that goodness and the kinder heart do not always triumph. It is impossible to do justice to the novel without giving away a heart-breaking story. The author does not paint a positive picture of many characters, especially during the years of the German occupation. Some people thrived in the corrupt opportunities offered them, others went with the flow, others did what they could despite appalling risks. After 1945 it was the last group who were felt to be "best forgotten" - the past was the past for the new France. I feel the novel is partly a commentary on France in the Second World War, but time and again the reader feels a heart-breaking sadness for Jeanne and even more her daughter, Andree. This was such a moving story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ignorance, 23 Aug 2013
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A lyrical piece of writing, set in a small French town around the time of the Second World War. An engaging and beautiful piece of writing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Vey disappointed, 9 Aug 2013
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I've loved Michele's other books but this one didn't lift me at all ,the descriptions were oddly unconvincing , and I didn't believe in any of the characters . I'm baffled by the unsatisfactory witting of someone who Has been a fine ad original writer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this., 29 July 2013
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Good story telling but an abrupt end caught me unawares...I would read more by this author. I would recommend it.
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Ignorance
Ignorance by Michèle Roberts (Paperback - 14 Mar 2013)
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