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25 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise, Witty and Discerning
I'm in sympathy with the customer who got clobbered taking his wife to Venice after reading Salley Vickers's brilliant, and seminal, 'Miss Garnet's Angel'. I, too, was caught by the 'haunted angel' quality of her observation and prose and my partner and I spent a blissful and informative few days in Venice following in the footsteps of Miss Garnet and her Archangel...
Published on 18 Nov 2004 by Oliver Pope

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars meandering
I like a book with pace and I'm afraid this book didn't do it for me. I didn't believe in the characters, I couldn't work out where the story was going and even at the end it meandered across the finish line. I was disappointed. Sally's other novels Miss Garnet's Angel and Mr. Golightly's holiday were unputdownable. I would definitely chose those over this one.
Published on 12 May 2007 by OliviaMJ


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4.0 out of 5 stars A first, 10 May 2014
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This review is from: Instances of the Number 3 (Paperback)
Read this on holiday, enjoyable, would read another by the same author I think. It was a little bit predictable plotwise!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 21 Jan 2014
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An intelligent story of grief and betrayal without sentiment.
I sometimes found the references to Shakespeare irritating as I don' have knowledge of the plays referred to, perhaps they will be my next purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clever book with well-observed characters, 20 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Instances of the Number 3 (Paperback)
Wonderful, clever book with well-observed characters. Story line is a little off beat - just like human beings. I'll be reading the book a second time, which I don't usually do, to watch the characters more closely. There are many instances of the number three and you have to make these connections yourself as you read. The author is much to subtle and clever to make them for you,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Salley Vickers success!, 15 May 2013
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This review is from: Instances of the Number 3 (Paperback)
Instances of the Number 3 was a very clever, touching and at times humorous account of interwoven lives. Ms Vickers has a very natural yet subtly puzzling way with words and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey this story took me on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rattling good story, 9 Nov 2012
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I assume the number 3 refers to love triangles, usually mf+f. I read this years ago in pre-Kindle days
and enjoyed it so much that when I ran across it in the Kindle Bookstore I purchased it without further ado. I had forgotten all or most of the story by then but it soon came back to me; nevertheless I'm reading it all over again because I'm so entranced by her style.
There is more to the story than relationships and a proper account can be found on the Author's website, but as I said it is her prose style I find so engaging.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and compelling, 5 July 2012
This review is from: Instances of the Number 3 (Paperback)
The highly acclaimed author of `Miss Garnet's angel' has written another astounding novel to add to an already prized collection, which is both stylish and compelling. If the eye-catching, striking front cover doesn't capture your imagination then the storyline certainly will, that shows the three graces from `La Primavera' by Sandro Botticelli a beautiful painting from Florence. This novel stood out distinctively by the effortless exactness and luminous, realistic perception by a writer who is highly talented. It combines a fictional personality underpinned by truth and authenticity, which entwined together, creates something so wholesome and believable before your very eyes. Glimpsing back to the past, the present that surrounds us and the future this is writing that is thought-provoking to the core; where one looks at life and those moments of significance. This is a classy, sophisticated book that is slick and stylish depicting London as a fine portrait in which one explores deep self-discovery. A philosophical approach combined with character observation forms ideas that are as vibrant as people, and which leaves you thinking for a long time afterwards. Salley Vickers has exceeded all expectations and triumphed spectacularly with this new work, her writing going from strength to strength with deeper meaning, ideas and notions that target ones heart and soul. Here is an author who is brave and courageous to ask those big questions in a way that is delicate and exquisitely done, without being overpowering or forced hence I fell under her spell and into her work. Death, forgiveness, optimism and understanding are all topics that are explored with the utmost sincerity and intelligence, which sustains your interest throughout the book that kept me from wanting to put it down. This is a novel that is not only highly readable and enjoyable but something much more than just a simple light read, as it goes much deeper in seeking out meaningful answers to questions that are fascinating & interesting. If you loved this as much as myself then I would also recommend Miss Garnet's angel and Mr. Golightly's holiday by the same author, which are just as readable as Shakespeare only with a lighter touch. A brilliant and engrossing read that has brightened up my year.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Examination of Mourning, 21 Mar 2012
By 
Kate Hopkins (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Instances of the Number 3 (Paperback)
A deft and very moving examination of how the unexpected death of a middle-aged man, Peter, affects both his wife, Bridget and his mistress, Frances. After Peter dies in a car accident, the two women, much to their own surprise, find themselves bonding and becoming close to each other as they learn more about Peter's life and what he meant to each of them. Frances, who's always enjoyed the life of a single woman of independent mind, makes a surprising discovery and realizes that from henceforth her independence will be more limited, but she will also gain hugely in a quite unexpected way. Bridget seeks consolation in nature, buying a country cottage in Shropshire and - to her astonishment - entering into a relationship with a poetry-loving local. But this is not all. Who is the mysterious Zahin, and why is he so keen to get to know Frances and Bridget? And why is Bridget increasingly convinced that she can feel Peter's presence in her house?

It's rare to have a ghost story that is serene - but this is what Vickers manages, magnificently. She writes superbly well from all the characters' perspectives, including the dead Peter, and must be one of the best writers around at writing about life after death convincingly. The scenes where Peter, in spirit form, is meditating on his past and on the two women he loved are magnificent: and Vickers manages to make Peter a likeable man rather than a two-timing selfish one, showing why he's ended up with two partners. I liked both Bridget and Frances very much, particularly Bridget, the Irish woman who escaped from her dirt-poor background to make a new and exciting life in London. And the way that Vickers wove the story of Hamlet, particularly focusing on Queen Gertrude, into the text was beautifully done. There was also some elegant comedy, not only in the ultra-courteousness of Zahin (a boy with secrets) but in the presence of the extrovert artist Patrick Painter, a quite magnificently rude man. The novel was beautifully shaped, and brought to a delicately moving ending, with a distinct sense of hope about it. Definitely one of Vickers's best. This writer has real insights into human nature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars instances of the number 3, 14 Oct 2011
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I have just discovered Salley Vickers and I am working my way through her novels. Her background as a psychologist shows in her understanding of human frailties and I love the language she uses. Easy reading but definitely worthwhile
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 14 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Instances of the Number 3 (Paperback)
Had really enjoyed Miss Garnet's Angel and Mr Golightly's Holiday so was looking forward to this but found it didn't really go anywhere. Wouldn't bother to re read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unsympathetic chracters, 11 Aug 2014
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I couldn't get into the characters most of whom I found unsympathetic . A disappointment after her other books.
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Instances of the Number 3
Instances of the Number 3 by Salley Vickers (Paperback - 5 Mar 2007)
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