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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing, involving story of human strengths and frailties
I found Hartsend to be an intriguing, involving novel of small town life; complex, but so expertly constructed, and with characters so perfectly drawn, as to make it appear simple - or at least `easy to read'. It is not without its dark side but the closing sensation, for me, was one of warmth. I felt my life had been enhanced as I closed the book, and I have no doubt...
Published 19 months ago by Deep Reader

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars a village story
I enjoyed this book about small village and its characters although in parts it was a little bit on the slow side. It filled in the time nicely on aholiday flight.
Published 5 months ago by aileen gibson


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing, involving story of human strengths and frailties, 23 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Hartsend (Paperback)
I found Hartsend to be an intriguing, involving novel of small town life; complex, but so expertly constructed, and with characters so perfectly drawn, as to make it appear simple - or at least `easy to read'. It is not without its dark side but the closing sensation, for me, was one of warmth. I felt my life had been enhanced as I closed the book, and I have no doubt that Hartsend marks the beginning of a new and successful phase of Janice Brown's career, after her five novels for children and young adults. Tell Me Where You Are (Fiction) Me and Mr Booker Ninepins
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!, 17 Sep 2012
This review is from: Hartsend (Paperback)
I can highly recommend this book. From start to finish it grabs you and keeps you interested with the complex characters and how their lives all connect. I couldn't put it down! Intense, interesting, thoughtful, sad and funny. What I want from a novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hartsend, 19 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Hartsend (Kindle Edition)
a relly good read i relly enjoyed this book it had every thing in it that makes you not want to put it down
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3.0 out of 5 stars a village story, 16 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Hartsend (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book about small village and its characters although in parts it was a little bit on the slow side. It filled in the time nicely on aholiday flight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hartsend, 5 Aug 2013
This review is from: Hartsend (Kindle Edition)
Janice Brown has the ability to observe and pass on to her readers an in depth picture of village life, with all its intrigues, foibles and strengths. She does it with such insight and empathy that we immediately relate to her characters, all of whom are perfectly drawn. We meet and get to know each one. The plot is unhurried, with the darker side introduced at the beginning, remaining ever present, lurking in the background until the end. 'Hartsend' is a thoroughly good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Characters matter, 24 July 2013
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This review is from: Hartsend (Kindle Edition)
A very different kind of read from what I am used to but I am all the better for it. Hartsend is a book where the descriptions of the characters draw you gently into their lives like a warm caress. The characters are the story where their interlinking lives capture the imagination and the detail in the writing is a pleasure. The great dialogue causes you to reread certain passages to relive the moment. Throughly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing story, 23 July 2013
This review is from: Hartsend (Paperback)
This is an intriguing novel set in a small Scottish town. A wide range of characters are clearly and subtly described, ranging from the local minister to the rough edged Art School student attempting to climb out of his broken working class family. There are wonderful "caricatures" of local worthies as they go about their daily lives, with their varying interests and attitudes. The book starts with an evocative description of a potentially mysterious occurrence, and the reader is left wondering when and how this will re-enter the story as different groups are introduced and their stories intertwine. The author has a wonderful grasp of the different tones and vocabularies across the social spectrum of small town life, and this clearly delineates the characters.
Her description of the town and of its environs draws you in to the place and also builds a picture of a potential darkness at its heart.
The descriptive language used is in many places quite poetic and there is a real comic style in the description of some characters and a realistic dialogue voice in the writing.

This book deserves reading - perhaps not holiday reading, when the mind wants something simple and vacuous to while away the hours. An impressive and subtle 'debut' novel from an author with an already developed skill in writing.Highly recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars lovely characters, 7 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Hartsend (Kindle Edition)
If you like a book with interesting and deep characters then this is one for you. The story meanders through different lives and really highlight village life. So much goes on behind closed doors that this book gives you a little taste of. Very enjoyable and highly recommend for holiday read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Looking for the plot!, 25 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Hartsend (Kindle Edition)
So far am almost half-way through and still no real idea what the book is about. When reading, it is interesting enough, but doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Not sure I shall carry on until the end, which is most unusual for me.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The jury's out!!, 23 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Hartsend (Kindle Edition)
I read this book in rather a disjointed fashion while I was on holiday and had to keep going back over things to check who was who!
I kept on reading to see what had happened to the little girl but felt rather let down at the end. I may go back to it when I have more time to see if I somehow missed the point!!!
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Hartsend by Janice Brown
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