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Limestone and Clay Paperback – 31 Aug 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 31 Aug 1993
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd (31 Aug. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436201399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436201394
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,707,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Disconcerting, haunting and unputdownable' -- Sunday Telegraph

'Glaister specialises in domestic horror. Skeletons fairly rattle in her fictional cupboards' -- Independent

'Glaister's fresh and vivid voice shouts above the insipid ranks of so much contemporary fiction' -- The Times

'Her characters are real and vivid; they miss each other in the dark ... a beautifully worded tale and utterly true to itself' -- The Times

'Terrifying ... Glaister truffles her way down to the grim heart, where we find out what makes people tick like time-bombs' -- Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Lesley Glaister is the author of HONOUR THY FATHER, which won the Somerset Maugham and a Betty Trask award, TRICK OR TREAT, DIGGING TO AUSTRALIA, PARTIAL ECLIPSE, THE PRIVATE PARTS OF WOMEN, EASY PEASY, SHEER BLUE BLISS and NOW YOU SEE ME, all available in paperback from Bloomsbury. She lives in Sheffield. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Lesley Glaister’s first novel, Honour Thy Father, won the Somerset Maugham and a Betty Trask Award. Her last novel, Now You See Me, was adored by critics across the board and yet, nine novels down the line, and she is still in search of that break-out novel, the one that justifiablly sells by the bucket load. The fact that her haunting novels, where a familiar world of bored housewives, frustrated professionals and lonely individuals who skirt the edge of our society are seen through gothic eyes, do not fly from the bookshelves is a crime of unfathamable proportions.
Limestone and Clay is one of the early novels now re-packaged along with the rest of her backlist in an attempt to right this wrong. Nadia is a sculptor. She spends her day making things from clay and ruminating her woeful string of miscarrages. Husband, Simon, a geography teacher, finds meaning in his own life through underground caving, squeezing his way through narow tunnels and crevices in his own silent, heart-pounding thrill-ride. He is planning a weekend trip with fellow caver, Miles and ex-lover, Celia. Celia is everything Nadia is not and when she falls pregnant at the drop of a hat and her own husband turns out to be infertile, bubbling jealousies and all-round cattiness rush to the surface. With the now pregnant Celia pulling out of the trip and the weather worsening, it seems that maybe, just maybe, everything will be just fine after all. Of course, it is not and in true Glaister style, the characters set their own course with the smallest of decisions and the pettiest of actions.
As a character, Nadia is both tragic and spiteful (and all the more real for it).
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have always considered Lesley Glaister, b. 1956, to be one of this country’s most under-rated writers. She has an outstanding ability to create incremental tension which is evident in this novella which addresses the diverse topics of female reproduction and caving, probably a first.

The narrative focuses on a young couple, Nadia, a sculptor and potter and Simon, a geography teacher. Whilst the former has reached a block in her artistic development and the latter is dissatisfied with his job, the big problem in their life together is Nadia’s repeated miscarriage of the baby that they both want so desperately.

Simon’s way of dealing with this is to go off on caving expeditions with his friends Miles and Celia, but these activities are complicated by Simon and Celia having previously lived together briefly and Nadia’s resultant jealousy. At the beginning of the book, Simon is at the final stage of planning an expedition to find a passage linking two underground chambers and, whilst Nadia is very much against this which she regards as foolhardy in the extreme, Simon’s determination is increased by the fact that his close friend, Roland, died five years earlier in an ill-conceived solo attempt to locate this uncharted passage.

The book’s title therefore contrasts the minerals associated with Simon’s and Nadia’s activities and compares the unyielding nature of the former with the manipulative character of the latter.

On the eve of the expedition, Celia announces that she and her husband, Dan, are expecting a child and then discloses some information to Nadia that causes a serious rift between her and Simon with the result that she storms off to stay in a nearby pub whilst he drives off to the caves to try to assuage his emotional feelings.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book and stands the test of time although published so long ago. Brilliantly written and well worth reading.
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