The Facts of Life: A Novel Paperback – 1 Jun 2004
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Jonathan Lethem author of "Motherless Brooklyn" I won't bother saying Graham Joyce deserves to find a wide audience in America; rather I think the American audience deserves to find him. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An extraordinary evocation of an extraordinary family in WWII England by an award-winning author. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in during and post-WWII Coventry, England, the novel opens with "wayward ... fey" Cassie Vine and the bundle in her arms, Frank, whom she fails to give away to a prospective foster mother. Returning home to her mother, Martha and her six sisters, Cassie triggers a discussion that will set the tone and struggle for the rest of the novel. As Cassie herself "is the last girl on Earth fit to raise a child," Martha and her daughters agree that Frank should be raised by the entire clan.
Passed from Martha and Aunt Beatie Vine's own care to Aunt Una and Uncle Tom's farm, to his twin aunts Evelyn and Ina, it becomes clear that Frank is special and possessed of special abilities. Here at the farm, young Frank discovers the Man-Behind-The-Glass, a mysterious figure trapped in the Earth, constantly demanding that Frank bring him things.
Meanwhile, the secret of Frank's conception remains with Cassie, buried deep in the night that German bombers circled over Coventry dropping incendiary and explosive payloads until most of the city was leveled. Cassie, who is regularly possessed of "blue" periods during which she tends to wander far, must often leave Frank in the care of his more stable relatives, transferring him from household-to-household, including an experimental commune and a house with an active mortuary parlor in the back.Read more ›
Graham Joyce is a master storyteller. From the first page the reader is drawn into a world whose characters and story is the only reality worth pursuing. It's a delight to read!
I am enjoying re-reading it now, a year after I first encountered its truly alive Vine family. I find myself pausing at the end of lines wondering, "Just how did Graham Joyce do this?" He certainly has ears that hear all, and the dialogue seems like the people of Coventry actually speaking to us.
It is all a terrific accomplishment that will make you an instant fan of his.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. It may be because I read it in one sitting, encompassing all night, that I missed what matter it was that Martha had asked of Raggie Annie at the very... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Painter
I really enjoyed this book about a young boy and his kooky, spooky family. It was enjoyable as a story of a post WWII family but for me, the supernatural element added a welcome... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Moonhare
Thoroughly enjoyable book. Grips you and so that you feel yourself right in the middle of the action.Published 21 months ago by Jezzalou
First book read by this author. His description of experiences of the Coventry Blitz was heart rendering. Read morePublished 22 months ago by lorraine horlor
Okay, so I'm a little late coming to the party with this book. Eight years late to be precise, but I'll have my say even though the other guests are probably long gone or lying in... Read morePublished on 1 July 2012 by A. Watson
After loving Silent Land by Graham Joyce which blew me away, was very keen to read everything else by Joyce. Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2011 by Karon.