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The Opposite of Falling Paperback – 3 Jun 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (3 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701182687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701182687
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,435,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

`Confirms that she's a writer to watch' -- Bella

`This is poignant, quirky and delightfully original' -- Woman and home

"This is poignant, quirky and delightfully original" --Woman and Home

"Rooney writes beautifully and has some clever ideas" --The Daily Mail

"A fun read, the novel's charm lies in its quirky humour" --The Sunday Times

`A breathtaking, uplifting novel'
--The Scotsman

`a big-hearted paean to the adventure of discovering love ... such a joy'. --The Metro

'It's a fine, funny, unfussy novel that pays overdue tribute to those magnificent women in their flying machines'. --The Guardian

`As effortlessly as Proust or Forster, she incorporates unexpected aperçus'. --The Independent

"this is an assured second novel - and wonderful company for that long-overdue summer trip"
--Press Association

`a delightful tale'
--Good Housekeeping

Book Description

Costa-shortlisted author Jennie Rooney takes her readers back to the first giddying days of human flight in her much-anticipated follow-up to bittersweet wartime love story Inside the Whale

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A truly beautiful novel about love and flying machines

Bold, clever, funny, imaginative, original, observant... the Opposite of Falling is a wonderful second novel by the author of the acclaimed Inside the Whale. Imbued with the same the sense of humour, wit and poignancy, the Opposite of Falling is even better. Set in the nineteenth century, it tells of how the lives of three very different and individually memorable characters - Ursula, Sally and Toby - overlap, and are each affected by the concept of flight. A story that is a delight to read and that will stay with you.
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This book is a pleasure to the senses from beginning to end. It tells the story of Ursula Bridgewater a fiercely independent woman in the 19th century who's desire for adventure takes her on Thomas Cook's tour of America. She takes as her companion a young orphan, Sally Walker, (whom she refers to as her little doormouse} who does not share the same desire for adventure and new experiences.

There they meet Toby O'Hara, who has not come to terms with the nature of his mother's demise, and Ursula and Sally enter into his world at Niagara Falls where he makes a living taking visitors on pleasure flights in his hot air balloon over the Falls. This is a literally uplifting tale in every sense with the inevitable love story. Beautifully written.

A lovely read, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'I have just finished reading this delightful novel from Jennie Rooney (author of Inside the Whale). This is a new author to me and I shall certainly want to read more of her work.

Set in 1860's and 70's, mainly in England and the USA (Niagara Falls) describing the early days of Thomas Cook travel and early attempts at man's desire to fly. It is written with such detail as to how the characters would have viewed early flight and the first 'packaged' holidays the reader can experience these feelings of new adventures. Feelings that are unrecognisable today as we just book our hols online or at the travel agent. ..... "Ursula wrote to Mr Thomas Cook's offices in London that very afternoon and booked a lady's ticket for travel in a first class cabin"

Good strong characters make the events so exciting.
Ursula, not your typical Victorian Lady, waiting for society to catch up with her forward thinking and independent ways.
Toby O'Hara, driven to get his flying machine working so he can discover "what he needs to know".
Sally Walker, an orphan, companion to Ursula who wanted her to be proud of her and overcome her fears.

I loved the style of writing, the characters 'voices' and thoughts, and the wonderful scene setting. Some historical events brought together in this novel fitted easily together, women's rights, flight, and worldwide travel.

This novel kept me engrossed from the moment I started it. I just didnt want to put it down to start the dinner or put the washing out. I couldnt wait to get back to it.

5/5 for me!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best new novels I've read in ages; it's a quick and enjoyable read, packed with memorable characters and gloriously funny moments. The writing is deft and playful, full of fresh and often beautiful images.

I also loved Rooney's first novel 'Inside the Whale', which deserved all the acclaim it recieved - but 'The Opposite of Falling' is a far more joyful experience! Highly recommended.
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By Freckles VINE VOICE on 29 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Having read Jennie Rooney's "Inside the Whale", I was keen to read her latest novel.

This is a charming story about very vivid and likeable characters during the 1860s. Ursula is an early "women's lib" feminist and believes there is more to life than the stove and darning socks has to offer. She is one of the first to take a Thomas Cook excursion and is bitten by the travel bug. We are also introduced to Sally, an orphan, who is raised in a convent home/school. Her late Mother's employer becomes her benefactor and believes that Sally is destined for a more interesting life than teaching at the convent has to offer. He suggests her to Ursula as a travelling companion and she accompanies her to Niagara Falls with the aforementioned Thomas Cook.

Interwoven in to the story is Toby O'Hara who has inherited his Father's obession with flight. His tale is a sad one and he also finds himself in America, at the Falls, where he meets up with Ursula and Sally when they venture on one of his tethered balloon trips. Not an altogether roaring success for one of them at least!

I highly recommend this book. It is a little slow to get started, but once the story grips you...you won't be able to put it down.
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Format: Paperback
'The Opposite of Falling' is a wonderfully whimsical and imaginative historical novel. The author has a playful touch combining historical fact and universal human psychology with flights of the imagination. Set in the 19th century, it's a particularly visual novel, with beautiful and bizarre images that stay in the mind long after the eyes have left the page. I imagine it could make a spectacular film.

The characterisation of the main protagonists is well-handled and the simultaneous contrast and similarity between Ursula, Toby and Sally is thought-provoking. The writing is sometimes humorous, in a quirky way, sometimes poignant and sometimes simply joyful. Although I enjoyed the examination of the characters' past, future and present, and the way that these inter-related, I occasionally found the manner of writing slightly contrived, which hindered the enjoyment of the story. An example of this is a whole chapter written in the "would have" tense - is it future conditional?

Overall, this is a book that's far more than a good story - it's a delight for the imagination.
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