FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Beacon has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Over 2 million items sold. Fast dispatch and delivery. Excellent Customer Feedback. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Beacon Paperback – 1 Oct 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£2.53 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • The Beacon
  • +
  • A Kind Man
  • +
  • In the Springtime of the Year
Total price: £24.97
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099526956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099526957
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A moving, evocative and rewarding novel" (The Times)

"A brilliantly eerie little tale...with a very adroitly handled contemporary theme: the misery memoir" (Scotland on Sunday)

"The Beacon uses a small canvas, but it examines larger issues of truth, mental health and memory... Ideas about wasted lives, about grinding exhaustion at the expense of self-expression and about rank injustice are all here in a novel of great structural and stylistic control" (Guardian)

"Magnificent...It is all done so well, so wisely, that this short book is richly satisfying...it is a little masterpiece" (Daily Telegraph)

"Captivating... There is, from the start, a highly charged atmosphere of anxiety and ambiguity...the suspense and mystery work perfectly, and for this Hill's economy is exactly what is needed" (Financial Times)

Review

`This enigmatic novella tracks the full impact of Frank's book, probing notions of guilt and truth' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Susan Hill's new novella is a dark delight; a tale infused with Gothic undertones - I was left drawing comparisons with "Wuthering Heights" (albeit obliquely). "The Beacon" itself centres on one family and how the inexplicable motives and resentment of one member, Frank, throw his siblings' understanding of themselves and their joint past into jeopardy and confusion.

The plot is tightly structured and full of suspense. It switches between past and present as the main character, May, recalls her life and that of her three siblings, Colin, Frank and Berenice, and the emotional damage each sustains from having to live with tainted memories of their childhood. It is a story of betrayal and revenge, but also of a life left unfulfilled, the untold memories and secrets that could be present in any family's past, and the human capacity to corrupt and manipulate.

The result is ambiguous and sinister, the reader being left unsure just as the characters in the story are, what is true and what "The Cupboard Under the Stairs" really signifies.
2 Comments 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well-crafted novella that creates the atmosphere of a northern farmhouse and the somewhat dysfunctional family living there. It began well with some good characterisations and interesting plotting. An unprepared and unsupported May Prime goes off to university in London but suffers from mental problems and returns home after a year. This episode rings true - especially the way in which there seems to be no support system for May either at university or at home.

The central theme of the book is the rift in the family caused by the second son Frank. We have to wait a long time to find out the cause and when it emerges it raised some questions. If Frank had decided to break with the family why would he have taken photographs from his childhood with him? I don't want to give away the plot but surely newspaper reporters would have approached the Prime family for their side of the story....

There are ambiguities in the family and hints of hidden memories. The way in which The Beacon was written made it a gripping read but was ultimately unsatisfactory - especially the ending which was really (to me) a bit feeble.

I had intended to give The Beacon three stars but after a really interesting discussion at our reading group I have upped it to four.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I heard this on Radio 4's Woman's Hour Drama I couldn't wait for each daily episode. However their treatment of this small, perfect story gave a different slant to the inherent ambiguity of the book. 'The Cupboard Under the Stairs' was given more importance, maybe for sensationalism, than in the book. The mood created by their nervy music and presentation of Frank and May's lives side by side over emphasised their parts whereas the actual book has much more to offer.

So it is truly really worth still reading The Beacon even if you have already listened to the broadcast. Susan Hill has created a taut, absorbing, tidy novella (eat your heart out Ian McEwan, for `On Chesil Beach', which for me, failed to deliver). `The Beacon' is a perfect execution of the genre.

Susan Hill has, tucked neatly into her elegant writing, the explanation you need which is only hinted at in that radio drama. In offering the clues needed to understand the story she fleshes out the characters more satisfactorily. Catching you up in her powers and transporting you to The Beacon farmhouse with ease and experience, not a word jars. Quiet country days slip by and the suffocating world of living forever in an area where everyone knows your business, or thinks they do, is exquisitely pictured. Family tensions and accommodations, the release from binding ties, all keep you reading straight through to the end.

This is the kind of book that leaves you thinking about it long after and longing to discuss it, a very clever piece of work indeed.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The remote farmhouse is home to the Prime family over several generations. The four children of the current generation all leave at some point and this novella is the story mostly of the two, Frank and May, who return to the aptly named Beacon.
The farming life of their parents, John and Bertha, is a hard one and as they age time seems to pass the family by and the isolation increases for those who remain.
The setting is an upland somewhere in the North of England; the prose is very sparse and the dialogue terse and mostly workaday. This strengthens the impression of a family who love each other but are too busy or tired to express themselves much.
The story follows May and her struggle to find an identity and pathway for her life, yet one senses that Frank, who remains hidden in the background saying almost nothing, will be the key to the unfolding of the story.
Yet the characterisation of Frank is probably the least satisfactory of all the family. From being almost mute he becomes a garrulous news reporter in London and marries a lady of German descent. From being a surveyor he suddenly dashes off a book that will change their lives forever but his rationale for this remains unclear.
The story mostly concerns the strength that the pull of the past can have when individuals feel unfulfilled and in this portrayal it is successful.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback