Follies Paperback – 1 Jan 2004
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FOLLIES IS ONE OF FOURTEEN FANTASTIC ROSIE THOMAS BACKLIST TITLES ON THE ARROW LIST
From the Publisher
Follies is one of fourteen fantastic Rosie Thomas backlist titles on the Arrow list.See all Product description
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`Follies' was originally published in 1983 but for some reason I never got around to reading it then. It was republished in 2004 and I was delighted to track a copy down on Bookmooch a few months ago. It is three years since I last read one of her novels and although this one might be considered a little dated it reminded me of how much I enjoy her writing. I must catch up on the rest of her back titles that remain unread as soon as I can. Her writing makes you feel you are living in the setting of the book with the characters as friends, `Follies' was no exception.
The story set in the 1980's is about three modern young women, students at Oxford University. Reading this you need to remember that at the time this was written the protagonists Helen, Chloe and Pansy were typical of the era, although their behaviour might seem dated to younger readers, it does ring true. Young women then did seem to be dominated much more so by the men in their lives than they would be nowadays.
Together for one unforgettable year, the girls share a time of mixed emotions and friendships.
Whilst it might not be a particularly memorable read, for me it was perfect transportation to a city I like and an era I recall well, perfect reading for a summer afternoon, well written womens fiction.
The style of Rosie Thomas really makes it so real she writes so beautiful with such feeling I would recomend Follies to all Rosie Thomas fans as a must read, and share in the lives of the three modern women while at Oxford University.
I think part of the problem is that this book is now showing its age, and what seemed to be a portrait of three independant women twenty-five years ago is now rather dated. The women are dominated by the men in their lives, and Rosie Thomas writes as if all Chloe and Helen want is to be taken roughly to bed (until they find their true love).
There is an element of the "Sloane Ranger" style of the early Eighties about it in the jeunesse doree of Oxford University here. She paints a feeling portrait of Oliver the aristo running to his doom, and Pansy is probably the most contemporary of the female characters. There's always a feeling of how things are being tied together within the narrative, though.
I did enjoy the "As You Like It" line in the plot, and the episode in Venice. However, other parts felt like a mid-Eighties mini series on ITV.
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