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The Gulf Between Us by [Bedell, Geraldine]
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The Gulf Between Us Kindle Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Review

Geraldine Bedell invites us straight into the beating heart of familylife . . . a delicious novel (Meg Rosoff)

Bedell has a light, thoughtful tough when it comes to translating the emotions of a family in crisis, through a lead character who is both warm and funny...fresh...keeps you turning the pages (Evening Standard)

Bedell skilfully sketches the communities of the Gulf - western, Arab, Asian - and their internal stratifications of class, status and tribe. She is as good on human commonalities as she is at communal distinctions...offers a vivid portrait of a family...gripping...light, finely observed, funny and reflective (Guardian)

Politics and passion make for combustion in this acutely observed and often very funny novel (The Times)

Bedell writes amusingly and convincingly about family life, while her choice of location gives the novel an interesting angle (Daily Mail)

A sensitive and intelligent enquiry into prejudice, family, belief, loyalty and love in a very peculiar corner of the 21st century (Independent)

About the Author

Geraldine Bedell is an author and journalist. She lives in London with her husband and four children. The Handmade House was published by Penguin in 2005.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3856 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (5 Mar. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9CNE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,136,849 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There's clearly a gulf between me and the other reviewers so far - I enjoyed this book so much I didn't want to put it down. I can't claim to know much about the Middle East, so I don't know whether the author's portrayal of life in the Gulf is accurate or not, but it made for a very entertaining read. Don't be put off by poor reviews. This is "intelligent women's fiction at its very best". Read the book, and make up your own mind ...
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By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 April 2009
Format: Paperback
The Gulf of the title symbolizes many aspects of this novel:

1. The location of the novel is in a Gulf emirate of Hawar, where the author, according to the acknowledgments, has spent much time. (A niggle: Hawar is a real place, but aspects of it - together with its politicians - appear to have been to some extent invented: according to Google, it is not an independent emirate, but a part of what had been the emirate of Bahrein, which had became a kingdom in 2002. A reference to the Bali bombing locates the setting round about October 2002, just before the beginning of the Iraq War in March 2003. I wish she had given the place another name. More googling suggests that the names she gives to some parts of Hawar may have been taken from places in Oman, North Yemen, Abu Dhabi and even Pakistan. Disconcerting.)

2. There is a gulf between the British expatriate characters in the book and the Hawaris, accentuated by the imminence of the war which was so widely expected. The narrator of the novel, the widowed Annie Lester, generally likes the Hawaris (except one or two of them) and realizes, both temperamentally and also from a practical point of view, that the expatriates should respect their culture.

3. There is a gulf between Annie and her brother and sister-in-law, who are visitors from England, and whose tactless and dismissive comments about Arabs set Annie's teeth on edge. Her brother Chris is a thoroughly unpleasant representative of colonial arrogance and bigotry - a rare type among his age group by 2002, I should think. (Annie seems to be in her forties.)

4. The central part of the story is about the gulf between homosexuals and heterosexuals.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the first third of this book but became quite irritated as it went on. The early descriptions of life as an ex-pat in a small Gulf State are interesting but then the author falls between several stools. There is her input on life in the Middle East as a mid-forties single mother of three sons with a possible war looming and then her description of what it is like to discover that one son is gay, and not only gay but involved in a very unwise relationship. Her relatives are not believable, her brother and his wife are obnoxious (she missed a point here as she should have made her brother a member of the BNP!) Then she throws in a chick-litish romance between her heroine and a Sean Connery/Piers Brosnan/James Bond look-alike movie star and all credibility vanished. It is a pity as the author might have a very good book in her as she clearly knows the area that she is writing about.
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