Motherland Hardcover – 14 Feb 2013
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'[Nicholson's] portrayal of the wartime disaster that was the raid on Dieppe is grippingly rendered' Observer. (Observer)
'A profound and moving novel; a tender and compassionate mediation on love and God and duty and how to be good' Guardian. (Guardian)
'A superbly intelligent wartime romance' Daily Mail. (Daily Mail)
'A total triumph' Julia Gregson, author of East of the Sun. (Julia Gregson)
'Epic novel of love and loss ... I love William Nicholson's simple, intense style. One to get lost in' Red magazine. (Red magazine)
'He brings all the restraint of the this era to this love triangle and a screenwriter's instinct for dialogue' Daily Express. (Daily Express)
'His particular gift is to take you inside the contemporary mind, tracing out trains of thought with astonishing agility, sensitivity and honesty' Spectator. (Spectator)
'Nicholson tells his ambitious story with a moving eloquence' Sunday Times. (Sunday Times)
'This is a novel worth reading more than once' Elizabeth Jane Howard. (Elizabeth Jane Howard)
About the Author
William Nicholson grew up in Sussex and was educated at Downside School and Christ's College, Cambridge. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story, both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award of their year. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for stage, was Evening Standard's Best Play of 1990. He was co-writer on the film Gladiator, and his film writing credits include Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Les Miserables and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. He is married with three children and lives in Sussex. Visit his website at www.williamnicholson.co.uk
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Top Customer Reviews
I read an article in the Guardian interviewing the author a few days ago. I'd never even heard of him, but the article was spellbindingly interesting.
For this book there was a passage that earned him a 'bad sex award' and the article goes on to say
"Nicholson refused to play the good sport - although he did print up some Bad Socks award Christmas cards for his friends - and instead asserted the importance of dealing honestly with the subject and called for a Good Sex award. "It is not to do with just describing sex, it is to do with discussing our hopes and fears about something important. We have no idea if our sex lives are aberrant or not. We don't know whether we are undersexed or oversexed. People can actually benefit from these things being talked about more openly and truthfully."
I thought, ok, perfect, I'm going to check this guy out. So I went and got a copy of Motherland. A book with a chick-lit type cover (DO NOT let that put you off) about a love triangle between a woman and two men in WW2. I was only into it about 20 pages when I started to think. I absolutely love this. And it just got better and better.
The characterisation is simply astounding, you start to feel that you really know and care about these people and the way they communicate has none of the cliche of a lot of WW2 dramas we've been relentlessly exposed to, these are sentient flesh and blood people, of their own time, but timeless as well, aware that life is truly difficult to live well.
Rather than go on and on about the plot, you can read it yourself, I will just say that for me this is what fiction should be about, the human condition, about love and morality.Read more ›
For me as an Amazon reviewer, the hardest reviews to write are the 3 star reviews. At Amazon, 3 stars are lumped in with "negative" ratings, but they really shouldn't be. It's fairly easy to write a 4 or 5 star review; basically you either liked the book or really liked the book. One and 2 star reviews are equally easy to write; just explain the reasons you hated a book or why you really hated a book. Three stars, on the other hand, mean a mixed bag. I wish Amazon would view three stars as "neutral"; neither good nor bad, and possibly appealing to readers, while other readers shouldn't bother with it.
Nicholson's three main characters - one woman and two men - form the ever-popular romantic triangle. As with all love-triangles, there are winners and there are losers. In "Motherland", war-time ATS driver Kitty must choose between two soldier-suitors she meets during her driving duties. The problem is that we have met "Kitty", "Ed", and "Larry" many times before. Oh they may have had different names and been active in different wars, but basically a war-time romantic triangle is just that...a war-time romantic triangle. And although William Nicholson tries hard, his characters just don't step off the page and distinguish themselves in the reader's imagination.
That is not to say "Motherland" is a bad book. It's not. It's just not a rememberable one. The reader of war-time romances which continue into the dull days of the post-war will enjoy this book. He or she might just not remember it in a year.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a Goodreads giveaway for which I have given a fair and honest review .
I won't go into detail about the actual story, as I think it's already well reviewed ,but I... Read more
I really enjoyed this - it's a bit more 'sweeping saga' than anything I've read for a while and was a nice way to return to this genre (if one can call it that). Read morePublished 10 months ago by KymH
This is a breath of fresh air.
Pamela delights us and to be taken back to just before her birth is an elegant start to the lives of the main characters - wartime friends. Read more
Wonderful book! Especially for those who, like myself, lived through the Blitz and all the bombing of London. Highly recommended!Published 18 months ago by Mr. C. A. Gibbs
Call me sad but when this book mixes fact with fiction it ought to get the facts straight and when they describe a plane as a FW109 rather than a BF109 or Me109 or a FW190 it... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Old Timer 60
A very good read. being a teenager in the period of the book, very easy to relate to the story.Published 20 months ago by Mrs. E M Ward