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Night Waking by [Moss, Sarah]
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Night Waking Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

'Sarah Moss writes the kind of books that are difficult to put down' --Louise Welch, Financial Times

`Moss writes marvellously (and often hilariously). Alison Pearson for intellectuals' --The Times

'Tartly humorous, sad and clever ... a passionately written meditation on motherhood' --Sunday Times

'fresh and illuminating' --Guardian

`Moss's second novel is set to cement her reputation as one of contemporary fiction's brightest stars'
--Stylist

'Tightly plotted, brilliantly observed ... Sarah Moss writes the kind of books that are difficult to put down' --Louise Welch, Financial Times

`Moss writes marvellously (and often hilariously) about the clash between career and motherhood. Alison Pearson for intellectuals' --The Times

'Moss threads historical research into her fiction in a way that is fresh and illuminating' --Guardian

'An original and accomplished novel' --Daily Mail

`Tartly humorous, sad and clever ... a passionately written meditation on motherhood, with all the monotony and visceral feelings faithfully recorded'
--Sunday Times

Highly enjoyable second novel from Sarah Moss ... The upbeat conclusion to this blend of middle-class satire, historical fiction and campus novel does not soften Moss's withering take on sexism and her stark view of motherhood.
--Telegraph

About the Author

Sarah Moss is a lecturer of English and American Literature at the University of Kent. She spent 2009-10 as a visiting lecturer at the University of Reykavik. She co-edits, with Nicola Humble, the Food series at Manchester University Press, and has a BA, MSc. and DPhil from Oxford University. Night Waking is her second novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 895 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847082157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847082152
  • ASIN: B007RB6PSG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,130 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Such a perceptive observation of the dynamics of family life, folded around a mystery the solving of which helps the protagonist with both her domestic and professional dilemmas. The dialogue between the mother and her children is so effective at conjuring up her ambivalence towards the young lives that inspire in her both devotion and resentment. This is deft, subtle, engrossing stuff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved Sarah Moss's book The Tidal Zone, so looked forward to reading Night Waking. However, I found it one of the most irritating books I have ever tried to read, so didn't even read through halfway. She is a wonderful writer but not this time, for me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating book, with the various strands of history, the main character's research and her own child care problems, cleverly inter laced. Moving and at times very funny.
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By Moonlit VINE VOICE on 17 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this novel. Anna is a young mother, an Oxford academic, who has a deadline to write a book. This book she hopes will allow her to keep a hold on her career which rapidly seems to be going nowhere. She and her husband Giles together with their improbably named children (Raph - Raphael and Moth) are living on Giles' island of Colsay off the coast of Scotland. Giles, also an academic, spends his days counting puffins while Anna tries to write during the small windows of opportunity offered by the children's naps. Giles doesn't seem to take seriously her need to work and we really feel Anna's frustration at her situation.

Interspersed with the descriptions of the day to day life of Anna, we get glimpses of her work which is about the nature of childhood. As well as this there is a mystery to clear up; when planting a tree, Anna and Raph find a skeleton of a baby. Whose was the baby? Did it have anything to do with Gile's family who have owned the island for generations. Also skilfully woven into the plot are a series of letters written in Victorian times by a midwife sent to the island to try to do something about the terrible infant mortality rate. This is fascinating stuff and this novel is beautifully written and most enjoyable. It's also very funny in places, especially in the interactions of Anna with her children. A great read.
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Format: Paperback
This is an accurate portrayal of a young mother shackled to a toddler's constant demands - being woken at 2 am night after night after night, exhaustion, lack of mental stimulus, not being able to get on with your own work, life, etc.

Although while it's happening it is seemingly everlasting, conversations of the type one has with a toddler can become repetitive and rather tedious in the context of a novel. At least, that is how it felt to me for the first part of this story. Admittedly, Moth's demands (strange name until you realise it's short for Timothy) are interspersed with extracts of Anna's text for an academic book she is trying to write. But to me these sounded like an attempt to make the story deeper than it was, weighty rather than trivial. As such they seemed forced and contrived and, in such detail, out of place in a novel. Seven-year-old Raph, meanwhile, is working on various engineering projects with a view to saving the planet, and husband Giles is getting on with his research into puffins.

Finding bones buried in the garden leads Anna to a different aspect of research, and upsets Raph. The back-story of a young English nurse confronted with infant mortality (reminiscent of that prevalent in nineteenth century St Kilda and brought to life in Island of Wings, by Karin Altenberg) is interesting but only briefly touched upon.

Although well written, as one who lives on a Hebridean island I felt no sense of the islands or their people. Anna's character is fully developed though, so you feel as if you know her and suffer with her. Giles, on the other hand, is an empty shell. He hails from a wealthy background, is chauvinistic, shows little sympathy for his wife's exhaustion and for most of the story makes no attempt to help or encourage her.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not a quick read, it is intelligently written and requires a good deal of your devoted attention if you are to enjoy it to its full potential. A summer spent on a bleak Scottish island (inherited by her husband) with Anna and her 2 children (the irritatingly smart Raph and the demanding Moth) will envelop you in their story, and that of the former inhabitants of Colsay. A skeleton found in the garden starts Anna off on an investigation into the past dwellers, and she uncovers grim details of what life was like in a period where almost every infant died soon after birth.

The book is very atmospheric, you can almost hear the waves and smell the sea. You are hurled back into the world of looking after a 2-year old child - creeping out of the room when you put them to sleep in the cot, struggling to keep on top of normal domestic chores with one eye always on the baby, trying to invent nutritious meals, flagging with tiredness because of the broken nights, and so on. The relentlessness of motherhood is very well described, and the particular anguish suffered by women who have previously had demanding academic careers is highlighted perfectly. (Anna imagines herself walking through the leaf-strewn lanes of Oxford and she tries to soothe the baby to sleep.)

A well-crafted book which will leave you thinking about the nature of motherhood.
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