An Ocean Apart Paperback – 16 Mar 2000
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It's a double-edged sword, being the son or daughter of a famous novelist. Martin Amis quickly established the fact that his novels were nothing at all like his father Kingsley's, and one approaches Robin Pilcher's novel wondering if it's in the rich and detailed style of his mother Rosamund. The answer is yes and no: the characterisation has the evocative and sweeping quality of his mother's, but his narrative is tougher and more concerned with the present than the effects of the past.
When his wife dies of cancer, David Costorphine finds himself totally unable to cope. Withdrawing from his three children and the family whiskey business, he escapes into his much-loved garden, establishing an order there that is not possible in the rest of his life. When he is forced by business to go to America, his rehabilitation begins when he meets the remarkable Jennifer and her son Benji. As he builds a relationship with both mother and son, a disturbing discovery forces him to return home and come to terms with the neglect he's been practising. Pilcher's prose is much more forceful and less elegiac than his mother's, but it's clear that he shares her narrative gifts. Slowly An Ocean Apart begins to exert an inexorable grip on the reader, and David's fate becomes a matter of concern and interest. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Perfectly constructed fairytale of loss and recovery...interesting family romance (THE TIMES)
A sensitive and compulsive novel...His mother should be proud (MAIL ON SUNDAY)
Son of Rosamunde proves he, too, can spin a captivating yarn. This is a total tear-jerker (WOMAN'S JOURNAL)
An ideal read for a lazy winter weekend (WOMAN & HOME)
Top customer reviews
David, a businessman who has been grieving and depressed, flies to America for an important meeting. Then he realises he has to start moving on for the sake of his children in Scotland...
Clever plotting as a business thread alternates with David's personal story. While some of the scenes relating to the business went a little over my head, it didn’t matter. David, who is an extremely likeable person, discovers that he can make a difference in the lives of some lonely people. The bulk of the story takes place over about a month, and the pace works well.
The writing is excellent, particularly the characterisation; the author evidently inherited his mother's gift in that respect. There's believable dialogue and some strong emotion, with one particularly moving scene, towards the end. The romance, inevitable from fairly early on, is low-key, only coming to resolution in the final chapter.
I enjoyed this very much both on first reading, and on re-reading nearly sixteen years later. Highly recommended.
It's a book full of love, sorrow, despair and happiness that leaves you wanting more. I didn't want it to end and it felt like I'd lost old friends when it did. I hope there's a sequel but if not I hope Robin publishes another one soon.
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