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The Other Son Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The relationship between Alice and the three men in her life, her husband and two sons, is nothing if not complicated.
From very early on we get the feeling that Alice has long since accepted her lot in life but it is certainly not the happiest of existences.
Like many women in her situation she is both strong and yet beaten down, never believing that there is any possibility of things changing, but when she finally realises that things have to change she is unsure of where she can turn to for help.
Her son Tim is rather weak and mostly wants to protect the comfortable life he has made for himself and his own family. Her friend Dot is supportive but has a life of her own. As for her "other son" Matt... well most of the the time Alice doesn't even know where he is let alone be able to relate to him.
The relationships between all of the different characters in this book are so well written that they really do feel fully formed people with all the complications that can come with that.
A wonderful book which I wouldn't hesitate in recommending. Another triumph!
When I started reading The Other Son, I thought that I was going to struggle to maintain interest. The characters seemed a bit like middle-class cliches and very dull. I couldn't have been more wrong. The author's perception of the human condition was so keen, that I was drawn in.
Troubled families dynamics always make interesting reading. I had little sympathy with some of the characters in this book initially, but did have a great deal of sympathy for Alice. Relegated to the role of housewife whilst young and abused by an alcoholic husband who holds the purse strings, she 'fails' in the role of a mother in that she fails to protect her children from her violent husband. This 'failure' and the fact that she stays and tolerates the abuse means that she develops poor relationships with her grown-up sons; one, Matt, being absent from the first half of the book.
As the story unfolds, the reader gains a better understanding of why one son has disappeared and the other is so materialistic and judgementally intolerant of his parents. Like all good novels, however, there is some redemption for at least two members of the family as the story unfolds.
There are some issues that prevent this book from being five stars. There are many unanswered questions. What happened to the materialistic son and his wife, Tim and Natalya? What was in that registered package delivered to Tim's home? I was sure that we'd find out that he was being made redundant.Read more ›
The novel is divided into two parts; in the first, there is the adult Tim and his Russian wife Natalya, stoically maintaining their fragile relationship with Tim's parents. Alice, and Ken, menawhile, reach a crisis in their marriage as the first part of the book ends, and we join Matt in his new life in Provence. I won't give details, to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say that the characters are sympathetic and beautifully drawn, the writing seamlessly good, and the relationships described with sympathy and insight. The ending, too, fits the books (this is so often not the case), and I was really sorry when I reached it. I cannot recommend this lovely novel highly enough.
Having enjoyed "The Photographers WIfe" so much, I was looking forward to reading this. And initially, I really did. Alice's Story was engaging and interesting, aside from being exquisitely written, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tim and Natalya's story, particularly Natalya's, as there were hints to a dark past. However, when I got to Matt's story, and the setting moved to France - well, the whole thing changed. For a start, it was almost as if somebody else had taken hold of the pen - the writing became lazy and contrived, almost cringeworthy, relying mainly on boring dialogue between two characters, or descriptions of the settings. I quickly tired of it, and to be honest, only stuck with it because I thought there might be something at the end that would be worth carrying on for. There wasn't, not really.
Now, if this is being set up for a sequel, then I can forgive the writer for leaving so many ends wide open. But if there is no sequel in the planning stage, then I can't. We have no idea what was going on with Ken. The Tim/Natalya story was just left, we have no idea what happened with the house, or what happened to Natalya in her past and how she came to be in the situation we find her in.
It's a shame, because the first half of the book was great and it held much promise. So I find myself rather cross, that I was left quite frustrated and frankly, deflated upon reaching the end.
To sum up, I would only read this book if there is an annoucement that there is to be a sequel. If not, I wouldn't bother. Sorry NIck Alexander, (if you do read your reviews) but I did love "The Photographer's Wife", really.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of grammatical errors. If youre a true brummie youll know what I mean. Edgbaston and brummie spelt wrong, Expected better from Nick.Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed this book but felt that the book ended before the story ended. I would have given it 5 stars.Published 9 days ago by A. D. Myerthall
I couldn't put this book down despite feeling the author had a strange image of what a sixty nine year old thinks and does. It's not " old" these days.Published 17 days ago by Di
A good read, quite different to what I would normally go for but I enjoyed it.Published 21 days ago by A.W
This book had me hooked, the emotion, the feeling you were there, but yet it did not feel unbelievable, it felt real. FantasticPublished 1 month ago by Joanne
This is an engaging novel about marriage across two generations, the patterns of abuse and the attempt to grow beyond them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Beatrice
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