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All the Hopeful Lovers Hardcover – 2 Sep 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184916388X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849163880
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,305,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'So incredibly accurate and true. Utterly captures the sense of quiet desperation of ordinary lives and the ways in which life turns on a sixpence' Kate Mosse. (Kate Mosse)

From the Inside Flap

Belinda wistfully reflects how much better at sex she is now than when she was in her twenties. A lover would be nice but she'd never be unfaithful to her husband, Tom. So when she finds out he's having an affair, she's more than angry. The seven days following her discovery see her through a rollercoaster of highs and mostly lows.
And what about Tom, and his lover Meg? It's not easy for them either. Alongside this knot of middle-aged lovers is a tangle of teenage ones, as Belinda's flirty daughter Chloe tries to set up Jack with shy Alice, without realizing that Jack is full of secret longings for her. Each character faces their own personal dramas, unaware of the troubles that engulf those around them.
Nicholson casts an unflinching eye on men's attitude to sex, on how women feel, on love and family life. This is our won familiar world rendered pacy, funny, emotionally on the button and hugely entertaining.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a very welcome return for me to the village in East Sussex, and some of the characters, from The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life. Although not strictly a sequel, it is a loose follow on. The books can be read independently, but I would recommend reading them in order.

This book, as with Secret Intensity, looks at the lives of the people who live in the village over just a few days, this time in December 2008. William Nicholson is a master at taking the everyday events in the characters' lives and making them interesting to the reader. I read this book very quickly and found myself reluctant to put it down.

I understand he is writing a third book in the series and I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on it.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered a copy of Nicholson's 'The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life' on our bookshelf. I've no idea where it came from, someone probably gave it to us and it was filed under 'may read sometime...' At a loose end, I picked it up one day and couldn't put it down. Nicholson has the ability to capture thoughts and emotions that I know so very well - there are moments when he puts on paper a sentiment that I recognise as being my own. I bought 'All the Hopeful Lovers' (the sequel) immediately. It covers the lives of largely the same characters, eight years onwards and it continues in the same vein. It is simply crafted, almost like a screenplay (he wrote Gladiator, so it's not surprising) and yet, simple though it is in construction, it is touching and thought provoking. He joins my list of favourite modern novelists alongside Helen Dunmore, William Trevor and Penelope Lively.

My only gripe? The hardback covers would lead you to think of these as frilly, vacuous, romantic novels. They're not and the books deserve a better representation.
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Format: Hardcover
"All the Hopeful Lovers"
Well, there is Belinda & Tom, in the middle years of their marriage, not particularly happy but tottering along. Plastic surgeon Tom (cosmetic) is bonking Meg, in Admin. Belinda finds out & decides to indulge an itch of her own involving Kenny, a man she knew years ago and who has a certain reputation. She knows where he lives! She confides all this with her friend Laura, similar age, has some regrets but married to Henry in a quiet sort of way. Laura has a sister Diana in London married to Roddy who has suddenly gone all silent on her. It turns out he is "looking for God" which puts the fear of God up Diana. Diana introduces Belinda to the installation art work of Joe Nolan, whose work is being promoted by Chtistina, who used to work for Henry & fancies getting off with Joe. She tries to engineer a contretemps between modern Joe and stuckist Anthony Armitage, Joe's former tutor. Meanwhile Belinda's daughter Chloe back from uni. & the object of Laura's son Jack's desire is trying to set up a romance between him & Alison, the daughter of estranged Guy & Liz Dickinson, the partner of Alan Strachan a frustrated script writer. All very middle class and southern counties, but now enter Matt Early, plumber & violin restorer who lives with his mother but determines to make adulterous Meg his own.....

So far, so soap? Actually, no; much more perceptive. A better insight into the minds & personalities of the characters & their motives is very rare. Needless to say, nothing quite works out the desired way & there is resignation, reconciliation, disappointment and downright frustration to be seen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the prequel to this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are moments in 'All the Hopeful Lovers' where I found myself totally absorbed in the author's personal reflections on life and the meaning of love and sex. Yet at times I felt unwillingly shaken out of this reverie by dialogue that was far too similar for each character: at some point in the book almost every character exclaims 'Christ!', no matter what their age or sex. This is an editing oversight in my opinion. I never exclaim 'Christ!' nor do my friends, but my elderly mother does. It's a small detail, but one that began to annoy me. I wanted to like this book as much as the first, but I felt it didn't live up to my expectations. Despite this I still look forward to reading more of Nicholson's work in the future as I really like his generous personal philosophy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The second volume in Nicholson's loosely constructed trilogy of books based around lives and connections between people, this is still readable but lacking the punch of The Secret intensity of Everyday Life. It's well done, in a thinking man's Guy Bellamy sort of way, but the themes feel both at once familiar and a tad laboured this time around. Nicholson is good at getting under the skin of his character's frustrations, secret desires and hopes, but this one did seem to go on a bit, and some of the plot threads and connections were easy to spot or anticipate.

Overall, enjoyable enough to pass the time, but nothing spectacular it must be said. The book covers on the current versions of Nicholson's novels hopelessly mis-sell the books as weak romances, from the soppy artwork and pointed questions about love and relationships. Yes, they are about those themes, but done in a much more subtle way than a first look would have you believe. As a result, one suspects the covers alone are putting off loads of readers (especially men), who would find these stories quite thought-provoking and enjoyable.
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