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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, evocative, memorable
I chanced upon this book and am delighted that I did. Ms Paver weaves two parallel stories together, one set in present-day France on the site of an archaeological dig, one in ancient Rome. The sensual detail - sights, sounds, smells - is so acute that one lives the experience. I have rarely been so transported by a novel. It has a solid, intellectual quality that raises...
Published on 21 July 2002

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The Roman history and poetry were enjoyable but unfortunately play only a part of the book. Much of the book is about indulged and debauched young adults with liberal use of profanities and the f-word. I would have thought Ms Paver was enough of an author to use of her extensive vocabulary to set the scene and make her point rather than rely on expletives.
Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer


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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, evocative, memorable, 21 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Paperback)
I chanced upon this book and am delighted that I did. Ms Paver weaves two parallel stories together, one set in present-day France on the site of an archaeological dig, one in ancient Rome. The sensual detail - sights, sounds, smells - is so acute that one lives the experience. I have rarely been so transported by a novel. It has a solid, intellectual quality that raises it high above the average historical novel, and a brutal passion which I haven't experienced since I read Emily Bronte. The characters of all ages and periods felt utterly real. Ms Paver is a rare and gifted writer who can combine accessibility with intelligence and fine, satisfying detail. I can't rate this highly enough. You will be taken to another place and you won't want to come back. Many more of the same, Ms Paver, Please!
My only criticism was the jacket, which I'm afraid does not reflect the quality of the content - had I seen this in a shop (rather than been passed it on recommendation) I probably wouldn't have bought it. I would have missed a treat. Why do publishers think intelligent fiction has to be packaged like a packet of sweets?? Trust the female buying public, please! I have now read Ms Paver's first novel too and judge her to be one of the most talented contemporary women's fiction writers currently writing in England. Please try her for yourself. She doesn't disappoint.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Thoroughly Absorbing Story - and a Joy to Read, 24 July 2001
This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Paperback)
Michelle Paver has written an absorbing novel, with two storylines running parallel for the entire length of the novel. I literally read this in two sittings and even then, to the disgust of my children (and husband), was rude and impatient to anyone who dared to interrupt me whenever the book was in my hands.....a sure sign that I am completely hooked! Ms Paver writes with such depth of feeling and all her characters are well depicted. The story of Antonia and Patrick, which takes place mostly in the present day, was an emotional rollercoaster - although frustrating at the same time. As for that of Cassius and Tacita, set 2000 years in the past......well, suffice to say that this one had me in tears at the end and if I had any criticism at all - which I don't - then it would be my wish for the author to have explored their story with a little more depth as I found both their characters utterly compelling. This particular period in history, concerning the Romans, has always fascinated me and this book has made me even more determined to seek out other books which are set during this time. Believe me, I cannot praise this book enough. The words just seemed to flow off the pages and her style of writing was uncomplicated and so down-to-earth. I look forward to reading any future novels of Ms Paver - and also her first, "Without Charity", which I haven't read yet. I recommend anyone who enjoys a good story, with human emotions at its core, to read this book. You will not be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing!, 5 Feb. 2006
By 
Amazon Customer "Judy-NY" (Garrison, NY, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Paperback)
I only recently discovered Michelle Paver's writing through Wolf Brother and Spirit Walker. I'm an adult, but I loved those "children's" books. So, I was searching for more of her work, and I was thrilled to find A Place in the Hills, of course from a bookseller in the UK. I was just "blown away" by that book--absolutely could not put it down. I wish her work were more available and better known here. She is truly talented.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER GREAT BOOK FROM MICHELLE PAVER, 25 July 2010
By 
Mrs. Judith Lugg "Judith Lugg" (Wolverhampton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Paperback)
A Place in the Hills

This is a lovely story of love and loss, going between ancient Rome and modern day Pyrenees with a parallel evoked between the Roman lovers and the ones of today.

The descriptions of the scenery in the Pyrenees are stunning and you do, actually, feel as if you are there. Paver's characters, both Roman and modern are well rounded and very believable and the archaeological descriptions come over as knowledgeable. The only tiny criticism I have is that there is quite a lot of spoken French in the text towards the end of the book, which is NOT translated - I suppose I am lucky, I had a French grandmother, but for others who cannot decipher it, it must be a little disconcerting.

This is the second of Paver's books which I have read, as after reading Without Charity I knew that I had at last found another decent writer, so went on to obtain this one.

I highly recommend this book and hope she goes on to write more of the same quality. There is another due out in October 2010 called Dark Matter which I shall definitely be buying.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb book full of characters you genuinely care about., 9 Jun. 2001
By 
rachel@rlovatt.fsnet.co.uk (Cramlington, Northumberland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book from first page until last. So many of the characters were both heartwarming and funny. Even the destructive Myles envoked your pity as he just couldn't help himself and poor little Modge almost broke my heart. I also liked the book dipping back into ancient Rome so that we could get to know Cassius and Tacita's story. Definitely a book I could not put down and I look foward to reading more Michelle Paver in the future
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Class-crossed romance in Ancient Rome and at the tail-end of the twentieth century, 17 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Kindle Edition)
I first found Paver through her later, stunning, Polar set novel Dark Matter.

This earlier book is markedly different; effectively intercutting two love stories, one set in Ancient Rome, and the second across a period of thirteen years primarily between the 1980s and 90s in France. The Roman story is of the love between a soldier poet and the independent-minded daughter of one of the major patrician families. Marriages are not made across such divides, and discovered affairs are likely to lead to the death of one or both.

The later story is set around an archaeological dig, trying to uncover the mystery behind a goddess cult, and the life, and poetic works of Cassius, the soldier-poet mentioned above, whose bitter love poems to `Lycaris' piqued the interest of scholars arguing over whether `Lycaris' was a real woman or just a poetic construct.

The people involved in the dig are pretty well all patrician, except for an American, a graduate from Oxbridge, a scholarship boy. The Roman story begins to have certain parallels.

This was an enjoyable read, but, still, not quite what I had hoped it would be. It is a very intelligently written romance of star crossed lovers, but, still, this is not a genre I am particularly drawn to.

Paver absolutely writes well, creates interesting character even if not every relationship is quite believable, and the intercut story flowed well. However I found the friendship between upright, moral Patrick and louche, feckless, wastrel Myles more than a little difficult to quite believe, and likewise, the connection between Myles and pretty well anyone. What I was expecting though, indeed hoping for, was the strange power, passion, psychological depth and believably `dark force' of her Polar set book. I think if I had had read this first, I may not have read Dark Matter. But then, without having read THAT book, I wouldn't, probably, have read this.

Well done, but it is, still, a little too `genre' for my tastes

Rounded up to 4, rather than an it's okay three, as I think if you like romances, this IS one with quite a lot of punch and not just written to predictable formula
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures Your Heart, 4 Aug. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Paperback)
This book works its way into your system...and is her best book by far. You are so drawn into Antonia's life, and you are drawn to Patrick just like her. Michelle Paver truly shows you love at its best! If your into romantic novels then you'll love this...the history in the novel is superbly wrote...and also shows you how love was in the past, and how it was much harder than nowadays.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at its best - a real treat, 13 Aug. 2006
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This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Paperback)
This was one of those books that I couldn't put down and yet was sorry to finish. Ms Paver writes with tremendous pathos and I could really believe in her characters and relate to them. Her descriptive powers bring the scenery to life and make it easy to visualise the setting. The two love stories, separated by 2000 years, have subtle similarities which never seem intrusive. Some books are read then consigned to friends or the charity shop, but this one will go back on my shelves to be enjoyed again. I can only agree with the reviewer who criticises the unimaginative cover - it does nothing for the content and would certainly put me off if buying in a shop. This is not chick lit as it suggests, but a mature and beautifully written novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Throughly Recommended, 19 Aug. 2010
This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Paperback)
I also love this novel which moves seamlessly between ancient Rome and the French Pyrenees two centuries later. The French scenes are particularly evocative, enabling the reader to experience every emotion with the characters. I do, however, agree about the cover which correctly designates the story as romantic but doesn't convey how the modern and Roman love stories parallel one another in a fascinating and informative way that isn't remotely didactic.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 23 April 2015
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This review is from: A Place In The Hills (Kindle Edition)
The Roman history and poetry were enjoyable but unfortunately play only a part of the book. Much of the book is about indulged and debauched young adults with liberal use of profanities and the f-word. I would have thought Ms Paver was enough of an author to use of her extensive vocabulary to set the scene and make her point rather than rely on expletives.
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A Place In The Hills by Michelle Paver
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