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A Heart Bent Out of Shape by [Hall, Emylia]
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A Heart Bent Out of Shape Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Length: 386 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description


As tender and insightful as it is gripping... the sheer joy of being young and alive is shining out on every page (Susan Fletcher, author of EVE GREEN)

Praise for Emylia Hall:

'Enchanting and vivid... an amazing debut'


Beautifully nuanced (Spectator)

Fantastically evocative and sun-drenched (Stylist)

'A compelling coming-of-age story with a superb twist' (Easy Living)

'[An] emotive novel not to be missed' (Star)

'[A] crystalline tale... A novel that glints with passion, loss and doubt' (Marie Claire)

'A thriller, coming-of-age story and love letter to Switzerland, all in one' (Good Housekeeping)

'Hall confirms her talent for romantic but original prose' (Big Issue)

'A touching coming-of-age story' (Image Magazine)

'A love affair with Lausanne... the descriptions are highly evocative and a joy to read' (Sunday Express)

'The writing is so pretty you'll fall in love with the setting... We guarantee you'll be saving up your pennies and catching a flight to Switzerland before you're halfway through' (Heat)

Book Description

From the author of The Book of Summers, picked for Richard & Judy's 2012 summer book club, comes the story of a first love, a terrible tragedy, a snow-filled paradise; a year that will never be forgotten.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3411 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Review (12 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #245,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
OH MY DAYS. Where do I begin? Can I just say WOW and leave my review at that because no matter how much I fan girl over this book, the words won’t do it justice.

19 year old Hadley goes to beautiful Switzerland for a year to study. Despite not knowing anything or anyone, she soon falls in love with the country and the people. Readers quickly fall into her calm world and before they can blink, several chapters have passed.

Hadley’s world is pretty straight forward. She has a lovingly family, no boyfriend, a simple set of friends and her love for Literature is through the roof. Can I be friends with Hadley? Seriously, this girl is one of the nicest characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. I absolutely loved her. Her life is extremely captivating and I loved every second I spent with her, getting to know people and Switzerland.

The location of Switzerland is a place where I have never visited before, but after reading this book, I felt like I had. At the time of reading, I was unsure of whether Emylia had visited but to me, that didn’t matter because the descriptions of the scenery were absolutely breathtaking. The images were crystal clear in my head and I didn’t want it to ever end. More please Emylia!
Despite the narrative being mainly about Hadley, it is told in third person and because of this, I found the conversations between her and her friends to be a little confusing. At times, I had to reread a few lines because I wasn’t sure who was talking to whom. But that was a minor issue and didn’t affect my love for the book at all.

When a very sudden event takes place unexpectedly, my heart dropped and for me, the whole dynamics of the narrative changed completely.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A Heart Bent Out of Shape follows Hadley Dunn on her year abroad in Switzerland. Studying in the beautiful city of Lausanne she meets a true friend, Danish girl Kristina. Everything seems blissfully perfect until tragedy strikes. Hadley seeks comfort from her American Literature professor Joel Wilson, and as they try to solve the mystery of what happened they cross boundaries, boundaries that only complicate matters further...

I found A Heart Bent Out of Shape to be slow starting, and whilst I appreciate that it was necessary to set the scene and build up to the tragedy I was waiting for things to get going. And get going it did- I was soon gripped by the mystery. There were moments where I thought I had it sussed and then I'd doubt myself, other times where I felt completely in the dark, and I was keen to know exactly what had happened.

I liked the characters, particularly wise yet elusive Hugo, although found Hadley's naivety frustrating at times. However, as a twenty year old away from home for the first time in a country where everyone is speaking a different language, perhaps Hadley is a realistic representation of a young woman setting off on the journey of finding herself.

The highlight for me were the absolutely beautiful descriptions of Switzerland that left me longing to be there. Glistening snow, high-reaching spires and breath-taking vistas had me dreaming of Lausanne. Emylia Hall transported me to a place I have never been, yet I feel I now intimately know.
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By jaffareadstoo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
When Hadley Dunn takes up the opportunity of studying for a year at a university in Lausanne in Switzerland her excitement is palpable, and as she arrives in the picturesque town with its lake and mountains, she is aware of a sense of freedom, the like of which she has never before experienced. Her friendship with the beautiful and enigmatic Kristina opens her eyes, not just to a world of pleasure but also to the possibility of excitement on a grand scale. However, as the first real snows of winter arrive, there is an overwhelming tragedy and Hadley turns to her tutor, Joel Wilson, a professor of American Literature, for support. However, as Hadley and Joel attempt to discover the uncertainty surrounding the tragedy, the fine line between friendship and desire, threatens to complicate things even further.

At the centre of the story is a well controlled mystery with nail biting suspense, but there is also a sensitive exploration of love and illicit desire. The almost mesmeric quality to the narrative brings the town of Lausanne so wonderfully to life that it very quickly becomes one of the major characters in the novel. The sizzle of the town in its summer heat rests beautifully against the majesty of the spiky French Alps, and the streets and cafes with their picture postcard perfection are realistically exposed to scrutiny.

Sometimes there is a danger that a second novel won't live up to the brilliance of the first, but rest assured there is no such danger with A Heart Bent Out of Shape. There is no doubt that Emylia Hall, in just two excellent novels, has captured this genre and I am confident that her writing will simply go from strength to strength. I really can't wait to see what she does next.
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By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Aug. 2013
I thought The Book of Summers was a beautifully written debut novel by a gifted new writer, and this captivating second novel by Emylia Hall confirms that talent.

Hadley Dunn is studying English at University, her life quiet and contented, when she discovers there is the opportunity to spend a year abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland. She's still living happily at home, yet, realising this would be a year of freedom and opportunity for her, she grasps it. There she becomes firm friends with Kristina, an enigmatic Danish student. However, one snowy evening there is tragedy. Hadley turns in her anguish to Joel, her American Literature professor, with whom she feels a connection and a shared passion for Hemingway. As they join forces to unravel the mystery of what happened, their relationship looks set to develop beyond the bounds of friendship.

Emylia Hall writes beautiful prose and through her compelling narrative she captures that sense of curiosity and excitement experienced in spending a year overseas when you are young and eager, and the world feels so ripe for discovery and promises new experiences.

The beautiful, enchanting setting of Lausanne is vividly evoked; the lake, the mountains, the people were all conjured up as I read, and the place holds a charismatic presence over the tale.

I had a year abroad myself and I think the author captures this experience wonderfully. I believed in Hadley's world utterly and felt her sheer delight and her terrible sadness. I was drawn into the characters' lives, from handsome, damaged Joel, to wise old Hugo.

This is a poignant coming-of-age story of first love, desire, friendship, tragedy, grief and self-discovery in a stunning location.
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