Everything Will be All Right Hardcover – 1 Jan 2004
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A long, intricate novel that reveals the emotions of a family and their varying reactions to life, which spans three generations of women. Joyce is 13 when her widowed mother takes her to live with Aunt Vera, a teacher, and Uncle Dick, a remote, unsatisfactory figure. Later, at school, she falls for a teacher, Ray, and marries him. Life is not altogether satisfactory and Ray is unfaithful. Zoe, her daughter, wants her own life without restrictions, and her daughter, Pearl, is also a rebel. This is a novel full of wit and clever observations, and one needs to follow it closely and not lose the thread. Hadley writes very well, and this is a serious look at contemporary life.
The acclaimed second novel from the author of The London Train. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I was not disappointed this time. I would not say that I could not put the book down but that it was always a very great pleasure to pick up! Tessa Hadley follows the lives of the women of a family from the early fifties to late nineties picking up on the zeitgeist of each strand of their society at the time, as well as the emotional and historical lives of Joyce, her daughter Zoe and then Zoe's daughter Pearl.
The story is skilfully constructed so that we meet Pearl on the first page with Joyce on a brief voyage to seek the house of Joyce's childhood taking with them her now elderly Aunt Vera. The lives of the sisters Vera and Lil, Joyce's mother, are seen through Joyce's eyes as the story proper begins with Joyce as a child.
Some of the strands of lives past that are depicted for us involve: an independent girls' grammar school in the early fifties where Aunt Vera is a teacher & Joyce a pupil, a city Art School in the late fifties where Joyce is a student and Cambridge in the seventies where Zoe is a student.
The struggles of marriage are a common theme and in particular the very gradually improving behaviour of the male! The book could almost be seen as a brief study of male dominance and very gradual erosion of chauvinism as women gain a stronger voice. Though as Pearl tells her father in the early 1990s "There's a long way to go before (males become) bland Dad!"
But O the detail of Art School life in the fifties and sixties!Read more ›
Curiously, I came to this after finishing Hollinghurst's novel and found myself reading another 4-generation saga; Tessa H.'s is much less pretentious and all the better for it (although she shows she certainly knows a lot about painting and literature). The big difference is that she can interest us in her characters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very static book. Not much happens but it takes a lot of words to get there. Only saving grace is that the words themselves were quite nice!Published 10 months ago by Louise
Really enjoyed this book. Everything about it was well researched or remembered. Took me back to the time when I was growing up and could empathise with a lot of the coming a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Linda and Ken McKellar