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The Inn at the Edge of the World by [Ellis, Alice Thomas]
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The Inn at the Edge of the World Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Length: 273 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Book Description

A new edition of one of Alice Thomas Ellis's best-loved novels. A beautifully timed comic novel with a hint of the supernatural.

About the Author

Alice Thomas Ellis, whose real name was Anna Haycraft, was half-Finnish, half-Welsh and spent her childhood in Liverpool and as an evacuee in North Wales. She lived in Camden in North London with her family. Her friend Beryl Bainbridge wrote of her: "Whenever I had to go somewhere in an aeroplane I'd ring Anna up and ask if she thought God would keep it in the air. She always said He would."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 505 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (12 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008HRM80I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,589 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've often thought about it myself - Christmas comes around again - the expense, the horrible music on the radio, the total waste of money and energy on a religious holiday of which most people have completely forgotten the meaning. Why not book oneself into an island hotel somewhere and forget the existence of turkeys, mince pies and carol singers? That's how five people end up on a remote Scottish island with their private motives for escaping the tinsel and holly.

I really enjoyed this warm, sometimes acerbic story of how the visitors fared on their escape from Christmas. There is a touch of danger for actress Jessica, a touch of the supernatural for Harry, but it's not what actor Jon would call a successful jaunt, and though they start off well, can Ronald and Anita really end up together? For poor Eric, whose wife decides to leave on the day the guests arrive, there are only the consolations of help from Finlay, the taciturn ex-fisherman, and his webb-fingered sister, who is even more closed-mouthed than her brother.

Alice Thomas Ellis is wonderfully bright and funny but there's also an edge of the sinister to this entirely original and delightful book.
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Format: Paperback
If I were to choose a book based solely on the cover, it would never be this one. Having read it on the good advice of a friend, it quickly became clear that the simple, depressing and bleak cover perfectly sums up the empathy of jaded people intentionally "not celebrating" Christmas at a place best described as the edge of the world.
The first part of the book introduces you to the characters, and characters they certainly are. Each guest has their individual demon, and hopes to use the vacation for escape and relief. The host meanwhile, has completely lost track of his wife, who leaves the Inn at the most inopportune moment, as fast as her wobbling high heels will carry her. The other characters provide local color, promiscuity and adultery, adding intrigue and humor to the story.
This is a dark and hopeless romance story, where relationships are doomed to failure. Be warned that there's no cozy happy ending amidst the supernatural twists that pop up in the story like flashes of lightning on a dark rainy night.
The travellers who return home are older and wiser but not gratified or satisfied. The book closes with the enigmatic words "ye all come back in the end"
An interesting read from an outstanding author.
^AR
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Format: Paperback
A cross section of dissatisfied Londoners go to a remote Hebridean Inn for New Year. They meet each other and the locals and the readers comes to know, feel for and even recognise a group of ordinary, eccentric, funny and hopeful souls. With enough humour to lighten but not spoil the emotional impact, this is a short book that you don't want to emerg from until the end. A great story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book to read in the winter when you just want to hide away in a warm corner somewhere but don't want anything too fluffy or cosy. Most of the cast of characters are hiding away from something, those somethings being sketched out beautifully in the excellent writing.
The owner of the isolated Inn in question had a dream of a cosy hostelry bustling with appreciative locals and tourists but naturally reality doesn't behave itself and he and his wife are going to be in trouble if they can't attract more custom. The starting point of the tale is his decision to advertise as a retreat from Christmas, and the story unfolds as we discover the guests and their reasons for retreating, then follow their interactions with each other and the local community.

The Inn is set in a remote island, physically cut off from the mainland, and this is a metaphor for the emotional isolation of many of the characters.
Having myself lived in a remote village I could appreciate the descriptions of the way the guests at the inn, the real locals and the "incomers" (whether regular visitors or recent residents) dance round each other. Much of this is quite funny.

I have knocked off one star because I can't decide if I was really convinced by the supernatural element that twisted its way into the story part way through the book. It almost became a way of taking the edge off something that would otherwise be a shocking tragedy, so that the reactions of the characters are less than might have been expected, somehow. However it's a clever take on old Celtic legends and you do find yourself going "ohhhhh, so that's what that bit was all about..."
Definitely a good read and refreshing not to have a load of too-neat happy endings!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Didn't really enjoy this book as much as I expected, although that is not to say that it was poorly written. I wasn't sure whether it was all supernatural, part or none at all.
A times I was engrossed and scared, and others, complete at a loss to the plot and where the book was heading. I had little empathy with any of the characters and only really liked poor Harry and Eric.
I'm found the setting so bleak and desolate it was somewhat depressing. Even so I finished it, which is a sign all was not bad, as I never finish a book I truly dislike.
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