The Beacon Paperback – 1 Oct 2009
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"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)
`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
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From the beginning Susan will take you into an adventure into May's future and past. She hits on many problems that are faced by people living in small towns or communities. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Pix
Easy read but not if feeling down. I wish Susan Hill would continue with this story line-great start to a sequel....Published 4 months ago
Started off quite intriguing but lost the plot I think and became a bit silly.I didn't like the ending at all.Published on 16 Jun. 2014 by Judy Pryce
This kindle book has faulty links from one page to another so it doesn't read fluently.Disappointing! Would like Amazon to reply.Published on 17 May 2014 by Amazon Customer