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6 Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read
This is a stunning book. It is moving and funny, poignant and astounding. Anna Swan's journey towards her parents and the truth about their lives is told with clarity and simplicity, all the more extraordinary when you look at how the authors life was affected by the turmoil in her parents' lives and those around them.

I found myself re-examining the...
Published on 6 July 2009 by Posh Tater

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3.0 out of 5 stars ...love was a messy business, best avoided by sex...
Not particularly well-organised or even consecutively told, this is a nonetheless fascinating story of Anna Swan's life as the daughter of spectacularly ill-matched parents. Her father was a down-at-heel aristocrat who had poetry and novels published in the 1940s but due to a childhood accident was left blinded in one eye. Her mother was born into a cosy existence in the...
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by Eileen Shaw


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read, 6 July 2009
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This is a stunning book. It is moving and funny, poignant and astounding. Anna Swan's journey towards her parents and the truth about their lives is told with clarity and simplicity, all the more extraordinary when you look at how the authors life was affected by the turmoil in her parents' lives and those around them.

I found myself re-examining the relationships around me, looking at people on the bus, wondering what secrets their lives hold.

I read the book three years ago and still sweep Amazon regularly, waiting for Ms Swan's next book. I look forward to it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Memoir to Remember, 24 Jun 2006
This is a fantastic book, deeply involving and affecting. What could be a heavy going story is in fact written with a skillful light touch that is at once beguiling and compelling. This book will subtlety touch your heart with it's insights into the longing for something most of us take for granted, the love of our Mother's and Father's. It comes across a bit like a 'whodunnit' but that just adds to the intrigue and the unfolding fascination of the story. I finished it and somehow felt a bit wiser about the world. Brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, 31 Mar 2013
Not a single dull page and written with thoughtfulness and elegance. A sad story is told with optimism and resilience - highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars ...love was a messy business, best avoided by sex..., 6 Jun 2012
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Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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Not particularly well-organised or even consecutively told, this is a nonetheless fascinating story of Anna Swan's life as the daughter of spectacularly ill-matched parents. Her father was a down-at-heel aristocrat who had poetry and novels published in the 1940s but due to a childhood accident was left blinded in one eye. Her mother was born into a cosy existence in the Welsh countryside, but there were custody battles which ended with her in precisely the worst possible of options - with relatives who didn't really want her and made her miserable.

Both her parents eventually (and separately) committed suicide which must have weighed heavily on her as a young woman and both sides of the family does seem very doom-laden and unfortunate in their aims of bettering themselves. The book jumps about all over the place, from her father's school experiences to her own brownie badge existence back with the Welsh forebears for a while. But she doesn't really find out much about her parents, as the blurb says, until her late twenties when she uncovers "the dark and disturbing truth about her parents' glittering lives and early deaths." It is a courageously candid memoir, quirky at times but always interesting.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing memoir, 29 July 2011
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Ms. Mary H. Smith (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Statues Without Shadows is an intriguing memoir. It is partly the story of Anna Swan's parents who had both died by the time she was seven years old and partly the story of the author's detective work in researching her parents' lives. I hadn't heard of either of her parents before reading this book but that in no way detracted from my enjoyment of it. It is written in an easy style with flashes of humour lightening a story of a dysfunctional couple - both writers - whose lives ended tragically leaving their only child an orphan shunted around various relatives. Only when she grew up did she understand she had been lied to about the cause of her parents' deaths prompting her search to discover the truth. As much as anything this book makes you realise how much events in our past impact on our present lives and relationships. Reviewed by Mary Smith No More Mulberries
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit dragging, 19 Feb 2011
I just finished this book recently and I must say it did not live up to my expectations having read the blurb at the back of the book. I just felt it dragged on talking about memebers of her family what they did etc. I found myself skipping it quite a bit just to get to the bit where her parents meet and what happens after that. This was right towards the end and I only found this part interesting.
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