The Forrests Paperback – 11 Apr 2013
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Perkins is an extraordinary writer ... The Forrests is a novel to be savoured (Daisy Goodwin Sunday Times)
Dexterously communicates some of life's less-syncopated rhythms ... Funny, painful and utterly mesmerising (Independent on Sunday)
The novel I would most like to press into my friends' suitcases this summer ... kept me up reading late into the night (Helen Brown Daily Telegraph)
Literary fiction at its most luscious (Mail on Sunday)
Brilliant and differently boundary smashing ... An ambitious family saga flooded with light and life (Julie Myerson, New Statesman Books of the Year)
Exhilarating: intensely attentive, funny, lyrical and moving (Kate Summerscale, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year)
Word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph this book accelerates into brilliance ... remarkable (Tom Sutcliffe BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review)
Extraordinary ... It is so sensitively rendered that you feel every detail, down to the blades of grass that grazes the children's knees ... It seems, in these pages, as if Perkins has a special gift for capturing a child's inner universe, but the talent extends itself as the novel progresses to the incandescent joys and devastations of teenage love, the compromises of mid-life and the tragedy of old age ... a magnificent novel (Arifa Akba Independent)
Perkins writes vividly and often beautifully ... an intelligent and perceptive novel (Allan Massie Scotsman)
An extraordinary literary novel, this is prize-winning author Emily Perkins's greatest work to dateSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Essentially, the book is a series of moving tableaux, some in extraordinary detail, of episodes of ordinariness, punctuated by only occasional drama. I was left knowing more about the Forrest family as a disparate entity, thinly spread across two continents, stumbling through life, achieving little, than about any one of them as individuals. Maybe this was simply how they were. It certainly reflected their family dynamic of making less of a mark on the world than on each other.
There is little joy in this story, and a lot of quiet desperation.Read more ›
As we follow her from her childhood, and the slightly dysfunctional family that she comes from, we are drawn into her life through snapshots. Yet interestingly Dorothy isn't the omnipresent narrator or even the main protagonist that you might assume, that role often passes onto other characters. These are mainly her siblings like Eve, some who don't really appear in the book themselves, or like Daniel a boy who her mother `took in'. We often learn more about Dorothy when she is described by others or appears in everyone else's consciousness. It's one of those books which rely on what is `unsaid' about people and their actions leaving the reader to do a lot of the work.
I am not averse to making an effort with a novel at all, actually sometimes the books where the author allows the reader a freedom to move within the story and almost create some sort of collaboration between writer and reader can be my favourites. You feel trusted. However, my main issue with `The Forrests' is that there was almost too much effort to work out just what the heck was going on. Paragraphs and sections of the novel can shift viewpoint without you realising who is then talking. You also have small situation set pieces which, as the book is so much `a celebration of a normal life' if you will, seems to be in the book for no reason, they are just another event in Dorothy, Eve's or Daniel's life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoying very much. Well written. Can't put it down. Lived in New Zealand and Australia as a child and relate, particularly to the original era, to much that is in the book.Published 13 months ago by Ms watson
I'm only partway through this book, but it's a struggle to pick it up. So bogged down in minute details it takes a very long time to advance any sort of plot. Read morePublished on 2 Jun. 2013 by 2totango