Customer Reviews


20 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The life and trials of Mary
Mariana is the story of a young girl's life in the 1930's. Told in flashback, it opens with Mary waiting anxiously for news of her young husband who has been reported missing during WWII. Then, we turn back to Mary's childhood and adolescence, a time of school, wonderful summer holidays, first love, a disastrous attempt at drama school, love affairs with the wrong men,...
Published on 26 Feb 2001 by Lynette Baines

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointing...long winded story
I was excited to find out about this book because I have read other Monica Dickens novels however this story is very slow and quite laborious. Would suit a young person but 35yrs+ people you might be disappointed or worse - bored!

Needless to say, this hasn't put me off buying her other works.
Published 1 month ago by SarahTates


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The life and trials of Mary, 26 Feb 2001
By 
Lynette Baines (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mariana (Paperback)
Mariana is the story of a young girl's life in the 1930's. Told in flashback, it opens with Mary waiting anxiously for news of her young husband who has been reported missing during WWII. Then, we turn back to Mary's childhood and adolescence, a time of school, wonderful summer holidays, first love, a disastrous attempt at drama school, love affairs with the wrong men, and finally, the meeting with the right man which will lead us back to the present. Monica Dickens wrote this novel when she was only 24, and it's perspective is that of a lively young woman who has no idea what to do with her life. It's written with great humour (the episode when Mary recites Tennyson's "Mariana" at drama school is very funny) and the details of life in the 30's are an added attraction to modern readers. The tone of light romance deepens as we move closer to the end of the novel, and remember the opening scenes of Mary waiting for news of her husband. The final scenes are beautifully written and very moving.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless tale of growing up, 17 Sep 2006
This review is from: Mariana (Paperback)
I picked this up just after reading Monica Dickens' autobiography, An Open Book, in which Dickens explains how much she drew from her own life when writing Mariana (her second book). With this personal experience to guide her, she paints a lovely, unvarnished portrait of a girl's growing up in London between the wars. She touches on issues that nearly every female can relate to: the excitement and pain of a first love; the joys and struggles of making friends; the often difficult task of fitting in at school; and the search for excitement and purpose in life. In refreshingly unpretentious prose and in a deceptively simple style, Dickens, like her great-grandfather Charles, gets to the heart of basic human emotions and dramas. It's a book to take to bed on a cold night or to read while on holiday: fun, honest, and heartwarming - another Persephone delight.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different world, same feelings., 3 July 2008
By 
G. Dutton (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mariana (Paperback)
Mariana is a story that takes the reader through a girl's life - from child to young woman. It's point of view is flawless, changing and developing with the character as she moves from a naieve and unsure girl to an individual who is happy with the role of being herself; who comes to realise that whatever happened 'all one could do was to get on with the job that nobody else could do, the job of being oneself'. But it isn't just a 'coming of age' novel. It is beautifully descriptive - taking us back to the 1930s and giving a glimpse of a world that seems so different, where girls did wait for a husband to turn up, and could be saved financially by making a good marriage, and when London, Paris, the world, somehow seems more exotic, more finely presented, and more innocent, but none of it is portrayed in a saccharine way. The novel starts with Mary, the main character, waiting for news of her husband who is away from her, as a naval officer in WW2, and then flashes back to her youth. As you approach the end of the book you can't help remembering the start of the novel and hoping, very much, that the news of the man - who she feels is as close to her as to almost be a part of her - will not be bad.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent and enjoyable read, 31 July 2007
By 
F. Davidson (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mariana (Paperback)
I found 'Mariana' surprisingly gripping and was hooked from start to finish. Whilst awaiting news of her husband during the Second World War, Mary looks over her life's experiences and the resulting novel has moments of real humour and poignancy. Whilst the novel is bursting with likeable and realistic characters, Mary is undoubtedly the star and is both lovable and wonderfully fallible. She is a character I could easily identify with and I finished the novel feeling as if I really knew her! She recounts her teenage years and early adulthood with honesty and a lack of pretension, which is characteristic of the novel as a whole. Dealing with romance, friendship and growing up, Mariana has similarities to 'The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets' by Eva Rice but I felt it was an even more interesting and satisfying read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It rings true, 1 Mar 2013
By 
Ray "Ray" (Worcestershire UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mariana (Kindle Edition)
The writer makes you feel great sympathy for the central character - and some of the minor ones -a lovely ending
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointing...long winded story, 30 May 2014
By 
SarahTates (North West of England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mariana (Persephone Classics) (Paperback)
I was excited to find out about this book because I have read other Monica Dickens novels however this story is very slow and quite laborious. Would suit a young person but 35yrs+ people you might be disappointed or worse - bored!

Needless to say, this hasn't put me off buying her other works.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Of its' time, 26 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mariana (Kindle Edition)
This is a story about a young woman growing up and coming of age in the 1920' and 30's. She has a fairly privileged background, spending the holidays out of London at her grandparents house in Somerset with her many cousins and relations. Funny, and poignant, it is very much of it's time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect novel, 31 Jan 2014
This review is from: Mariana (Kindle Edition)
This is a perfect coming of age novel. It is beautifully written, evocative and poetic with a freshness that is surprising given its timing. This edition is also a joy to behold as its stark contemporary cover design contrasts with very attractive end papers. I received it as a gift and now treasure it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 2 Jan 2014
By 
M. Please "moirausk" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mariana (Kindle Edition)
This is one of my favourite books of all time. For some reason Mary Shannon and her life are endlessly fascinating. I loved the feeling and atmosphere of Charbury, the cousins, her thoughts as she grows up. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, 10 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mariana (Persephone Classics) (Paperback)
I love this story. I find the descriptions of the characters' homes and the heartache of adolescent love all beautifully realised. For me, it's a perfect novel, beautifully told.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Mariana (Persephone Classics)
Mariana (Persephone Classics) by Monica Dickens (Paperback - 23 Oct 2008)
8.28
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews