Mothering Sunday Board book – 25 Feb 2016
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‘Alive with sensuousness and sensuality…wonderfully accomplished, it is an achievement’ (Sunday Times)
‘From start to finish Swift’s is a novel of stylish brilliance and quiet narrative verve. The archly modulated, precise prose (a hybrid of Henry Green and Kazuo Ishiguro) is a glory to read. Now 66, Swift is a writer at the very top of his game’ (Evening Standard)
‘Mothering Sunday is, like everything Swift writes, quite unlike anything Swift has written before, and subtly teasing’ (The Times)
‘Swift’s novella is a telling snapshot of a society struggling with the death toll of World War I, and cleverly pinpoints the fractures in the class system’ (Mail on Sunday)
‘Mothering Sunday is…a Conradian homage to a well-spring of inspiration…you can heard his master’s voice echoing through the pages of this deceptively fine novel’ (Independent)
‘With a clear focus on the possibilities of the short form, Graham Swift achieves a delicate harmony between the cool detachment of the narrative voice and the intensity of emotion conveyed on every page. This is a rare read indeed’ (Spectator)
‘Love and death and much in between are expertly handled in this short but powerful novella’ (Daily Mail)
‘Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives – the parallel stories – we can never know: “All the scenes. All the scenes that never occur, but wait in the wings of possibility.” It may just be Swift’s best novel yet’ (Observer)
‘Mothering Sunday is bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly… Swift’s small fiction feels like a masterpiece’ (Guardian)
‘Swift has written a book that is not just his most moving and intricate but his most engrossing too’ (Financial Times Weekend)
From the Inside Flap
It is March 30th 1924.
It is Mothering Sunday. How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold?
Beginning with an intimate assignation and opening to embrace decades, Mothering Sundayhas at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain.
Constantly surprising, joyously sensual and deeply moving, it is Graham Swift at his thrilling best.
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Top customer reviews
which makes Swift a delight to read
those short sharp sentences. so well put together
Mothering Sunday's easy to read
it can be Swiftly read
serving girl Jane Fairchild - orphan turned maid - is having an affair with a young aristocrat Paul Sheringham who's about to be married
their last fling is today - 30 March 1924 - Mothering Sunday
they have the house - the manor - to themselves
afterwards Paul leaves to meet up with the bride-to-be
but Jane lingers
naked, she parades (herself) around the manor. remember she's an orphan in need of love
a foundling - she was found on the steps of the orphanage wrapped in blankets
she's about to enter the library and tells us " the point of libraries is not the books themselves but the hallowed atmosphere of the not-to-be-disturbed male sanctuary...few things could be more shocking than for a woman to enter a library naked. The very idea !"
what she doesn't know is this : Paul is already dead. killed in a car accident. driven too fast round a bend and hit a tree
U think : hadn't expected that. this is rather good
but then something happens. not to the writing which stays good but to the plot
it becomes mysterious ( if Ur a fan of Swift ) or confusing ( if Ur not )
we suspect someone suspects Jane's been having an affair with the dead aristocrat
might it be her employer ?...those unexplained absences , that propensity of her bicycle chain to keep on breaking every time she went anywhere?
or maybe one of the maids ?...the unseen servant sometimes sees a lot
by the end the mystery/confusion hasn't really been cleared up
was she found out ?
did they find out what Paul had been doing in his last hours/minutes ?
was he racing his car so as not to be late for his bride-to-be ??
the hope...the expectation...that the ending will be as good as what went before is never quite realised
so 4 stars instead of 5
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Most recent customer reviews
Brilliantly evocative short story.Read more