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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Humour and horror juxtapose'
Lovely book, that can only be described as the literary form of naive art! Comyns recounts episodes from her childhood, brought up in a genteel if debt-laden family. It put me in mind of Nancy Mitford's account of her own family. Irascible Daddy, vague, deaf Mammy, and six children who for want of outside company spend much time together.
Comyns writes in a unique...
Published on 18 Dec 2011 by sally tarbox

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sisters by a river
For fans only, I had not entirely realised how autobiagraphical this book was going to be, it's an excellent companion to 'Who was Dead and who was changed' and for anybody interested in the themes Comyns goes on to explore at greater length, there all here. Virago elected to keep the original poor spelling intact which makes for hard reading sometimes, there is no...
Published on 2 Feb 2009 by Amazon Customer


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Humour and horror juxtapose', 18 Dec 2011
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sally tarbox (aylesbury bucks uk) - See all my reviews
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Lovely book, that can only be described as the literary form of naive art! Comyns recounts episodes from her childhood, brought up in a genteel if debt-laden family. It put me in mind of Nancy Mitford's account of her own family. Irascible Daddy, vague, deaf Mammy, and six children who for want of outside company spend much time together.
Comyns writes in a unique child-like style, with eccentric spelling and an antipathy to semi-colons, so that phrases run into each other:

'Mammy had always looked and been rather vague, she had a kind of gypsoflia mind, all little bits and pieces held together by whisps' (sic)

Far from being a sentimental account, Comyns recalls the horrific alongside the magical- villagers drowning in the floods; her father's violence; ill-treatment of animals.
I LOVE Comyns' work !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sisters by a River, 31 July 2013
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A quirky tale written in an interesting style which well reflects the age of the writer at the time. It is especially interesting if you are familiar with the area where the author lived with her family.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sisters by a river, 2 Feb 2009
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For fans only, I had not entirely realised how autobiagraphical this book was going to be, it's an excellent companion to 'Who was Dead and who was changed' and for anybody interested in the themes Comyns goes on to explore at greater length, there all here. Virago elected to keep the original poor spelling intact which makes for hard reading sometimes, there is no particuler narrative, this being a collection of stories the auther told her children about her own childhood, so at times it can grate. Otherwise interesting, human, funny, and a little bit horrific.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected -funniest book I have read for a long time, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Sisters By A River: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC) (Paperback)
This is a treasure which will appeal to anyone with a certain twist of mind. Its very bourgeois, very 30s, and very very funny. It knocks the spots of a lot of books seen as funny from the 30s/40s (much better than any Evelyn Waugh, except maybe Put Out More Flags). What most gives it a lasting value is the relationship between the sisters, and the unfolding narrative about the house and landscape they inhabit. I picked it almost by accident as holiday reading and now think everyone should read it. Not sure about Comyns's other work, but this is terrific.
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Sisters By A River: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC)
Sisters By A River: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC) by Barbara Comyns (Paperback - 4 July 2013)
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