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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Away with the Fairies - had to buy another!
Having been captivated by Strangers and Pilgrims, I naturally felt inclined to read the next offering from Vivienne Tuffnell, Away with the Fairies. Different, but no less captivating, the tale of Isabel's own struggle with her art is explored in Tuffnell's careful and conscientious writing: imaginative, thought-provoking, and occasionally challenging - a real pleasure to...
Published on 9 Jun 2012 by HTK

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Away with the Fairies
This book was quite interesting, however I felt that at times it was rather laboured. The ending was unexpected though , so overall it was quite enjoyable.
Published 14 months ago by Dancer


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Away with the Fairies - had to buy another!, 9 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Away With The Fairies (Kindle Edition)
Having been captivated by Strangers and Pilgrims, I naturally felt inclined to read the next offering from Vivienne Tuffnell, Away with the Fairies. Different, but no less captivating, the tale of Isabel's own struggle with her art is explored in Tuffnell's careful and conscientious writing: imaginative, thought-provoking, and occasionally challenging - a real pleasure to read. I lent a copy to my Mother, who told me what an eye-opening pleasure it was after the usual run-of-the-mill modern paperbacks; then my Father had to read it before I finally got it back... I've bought him his own copy now. Happy Father's Day!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing :-), 18 April 2014
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Away with the Fairies is simply delightful!!! I read a sample of it first and was quickly drawn into the main Character, Isobel's, life (and bought the book!). Isobel is working mother and vicar's wife and we meet her as everything seems to be crumbling or should we say flooding around her! The storyline is simple and effective and keeps you guessing. I cannot recommend it enough! I'm now looking for my next Vivienne Tuffnell book to read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very accessible, thoroughly rewarding read, 24 Jun 2012
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In this engaging story of coming to terms with events over which she had no control, Isobel juggles the unasked-for challenges of Vicar's wife - 'I hate to tell you this, Izzie, but I have a terrible feeling that God is calling me to become a minister' - motherbood, and the life of a 'Professional bloody artist'. It is in this last, Issy's creativity, that we follow her journey back to herself, her inner self and her core identity - as an artist and as an individual.

Isobel's husband Mickey is a good-humoured man, his easy manner an effective foil for Isobel's at times ascerbic tongue and brittle mask of cabability - human characteristics that combine to make her all the more believable.

A cottage in the countryside becomes her haven, a place of mystery and weird goings-on, where she seeks refuge in her painting. There's tension there though, a sense of mystery that builds inexorably, and we're never sure whether it stems from Izzy's imaginings or her frankly spooky but delightful daughter Miranda who visits from time to time. Or is it emanating from the ancient mound at the bottom of the garden, where huge trees sway in the wind? We are kept in suspense till the very end.

In summary, Away with the Fairies is a thought-provoking, at times magical read. It illuminates the creative process, sparkles with insight and humour which did much to veil the underlying seriousness of the issues at stake and which contributed to making this a thoroughly rewarding read.

I'd suggest that this is a great book to try if you've previously shied away from literary fiction; yes, it is literary fiction in the way it embraces important themes, but it's also an accessible, captivating story which will appeal to all kinds of readers. Beautifully written and highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Understanding., 5 July 2014
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I enjoyed this book greatly having read it in the "wilds" of Argyll at an isolated cottage off Loch Fyne, so I had time to do it justice.
My thanks goes to Vivienne Tuffnell for her insight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend it, 5 Jun 2014
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. I read at the end that this is the authors first book and eagerly await her next one
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put it Down!, 24 May 2014
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This caught my interest from the first page. I adored the main characters, and the book caught the 'living in a goldfish bowl' aspect of a clergyman's family beautifully. This was the first book by this author that I read, but I went on to read her other novels - and thoroughly enjoyed those, too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating from the start, 22 May 2014
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Having read and really enjoyed The Bet, I've just finished Away with the Fairies, and loved this too. There's a theme of unresolved grief running through this author's work, and she manages to convey it very movingly but without ever slipping over into melodrama. Her characters feel very real, and I find myself thinking about them long after I've put the book down.
As with The Bet, the book really wasn't what I was expecting it to be, it's a slightly mysterious, properly thought out grown up read, which has lingered in my mind for a long while.

(semi-spoiler] I wanted to see Maggie get her comeuppance!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Away with the fairys, 11 Jan 2014
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This was such a great read wish it would have been a bit more of it I could not put it down
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt and humorous. Loved it!, 3 Jan 2014
This review is from: Away With The Fairies (Kindle Edition)
I had the good fortune to meet this wonderful author by way of Facebook. When I expressed interest in her work, she was gracious enough to send me a copy of Away with the Fairies. She did not ask for a review, but after reading her book, I felt I had to write about how much I enjoyed it.

This is not normally a genre I would read and I wasn't sure what to expect going in. Did I expect a well-written novel? Based on what I knew of the author, yes. What I didn't expect was the emotional journey her writing took me on.

The main character, Isobel, is similar to a lot of women juggling marriage, children, and a career. But that is where the similarities end. When a tragedy sends her life spiraling out of control, a strange set of events conspires to bring it back into focus with scary and sometimes humorous results.

Away with the Fairies is a thoroughly enjoyable book. It's also a stark reminder of what is important in life. And what we should strive to never forget.

I look forward to reading more from this author. Bravo!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively simple, 20 July 2013
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This is the story of Isabel. A painter who wants time away from the manifold pressures of minding young children and being the unpaid assistant to her husband who is a vicar. She is also more disturbed than she acknowledges by the suicide of both her parents. She has no beliefs in an afterlife. The family buys Barrow Cottage which has a prehistoric burial mound, or barrow, in the garden. There is a continuing series of unexplained events which she tries to rationalise. Isabel spends time to be alone there to paint.The quality of her work changes dramatically but she she is not consciously planning the outcome. The strange events continue and she begins to breakdown.
There is part of the story which deals with Maggie, a local woman artist who has a chaotic and alternative lifestyle but there are no redeeming qualities and while she may have a symbolic part to play in the story, I found her a little two dimensional.
Guy, the disabled flautist, provides a new direction to her thinking and the breakdown becomes a breakthrough. He says, more or less, what I would have hoped someone would have said to Isabel in terms of background information. I am not so convinced about his concept of soul fragments but don't dismiss it.
Isabel was denying the fact of death and change and needed to withdraw into her self to make connections with those streams of consciousness which lie within and beyond our separate individualities. There is little growth until we embrace the negative (so-called) parts of our soul. She was prompted by the psychic forces or beings which inhabited the cottage.
Her clergyman husband had no idea what they were dealing with which, sadly, seems true of most, not all, of the modern churches. 'Yesterday's People is a short book by an Anglican clergyman who did work with mediums. In contrast, a recent Radio 4 discussion on the afterlife had three academics, two Christian, one Muslim, to discuss the subject. No medium, Transpersonal psychologist or psychic researcher. Is this the lingering dominance of organised religion to determine the terms of the debate? Or that right brain, intuitive, dare I say, feminine thinking, is marginalised by mainstream culture, to our detriment?
Guy was able to come to terms with his accident and loss when he began to forgive; so the church still gets that right.
I feel the author has managed to delve deeply into the ground of our being within a simple story structure and present an uplifting outcome which is credible and solidly grounded in the real world. It is said that a therapist can only take clients to the level they have reached themselves-which, as a therapist, cause me some self doubt but I find if I surrender to the process, it seems to work out. I suspect the same is true for writers and their works. The themes of self discovery and reconciliation are timeless but I did find myself wondering how far the novel was autobiographical and not just because she is the wife of a vicar.
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Away With The Fairies by Vivienne Tuffnell
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