- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan New Writing; Main Market edition (1 Jun. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0230528872
- ISBN-13: 978-0230528871
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,411,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Playing with the Moon Hardcover – 1 Jun 2007
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'Eliza Graham tells a powerful tale, and her characters are well drawn and believable. I enjoyed this book very much'
-- Historical Novels Review
'Eliza Graham tells a powerful tale, and her characters are well drawn and believable.'
-- Historical Novels Review
Two women, divided by fifty years, united by their grief . . .See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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Eliza Graham is a rather underappreciated author - I suspect she doesn't succeed with the 'chick lit' brigade because she's quite serious, but falls too much into the category of 'historical romance' to be a literary author. Nonetheless, there's a lot to admire in her books. This book may not be as ambitious or interesting as 'Restitution', but the story of Lew, of the deep friendship between Felix and David, of Isabel, wrestling with dyslexia and of Lew's secret daughter is rather beautiful. There's some nice evocations of the Dorset coast, and of how Lew would have found life as an American in the UK. The redemptive final chapter was rather good too.
Unfortunately, much though I enjoyed the book as an evening light read (and it can be read in an evening) I didn't feel it quite came together. My most serious qualm was that I didn't believe that Lew would have done a runner as he did, if he was so good and honourable. Admittedly, he'd got himself in a mess, getting his local girlfriend pregnant - but, bearing in mind he was a bright man and well aware of the consequences, would he really have overstayed his leave - and if he did, wouldn't he simply have gone back to be disciplined? Surely he would have realized that hiding would make it worse? So, right from the start I found the narrative a bit unbelievable. Then, though I thought the Felix/David relationship when they were children was wonderful, I was very disappointed with how it evolved. I didn't believe that David would have let the horrible Charles do what he did - or that he would have confided in such a creep in the first place. And if he truly loved Felix, wouldn't he have tried to locate her once he'd told Charles to go away? (Also - bearing in mind the laws at the time, couldn't David have threatened to expose Charles if he tried his blackmail tricks?). Graham seemed to be heaping troubles on her characters' heads here for no reason.
In addition, apart from Lew, his daughter, Isabel and the children David and Felix, I didn't find the characters particularly interesting. Minna, despite her horrible tragedy, appeared a rather colourless and dull woman, and her relationship with Tom was only thinly sketched. The adult Felix was also quite dull, as was her husband. I ended up feeling that the story - which had considerable potential, had Graham gone over it with an editor in more detail - deserved rather more richly-realized characters.
In the end, I felt this was a promising debut, which showed a lot of potential, but not the sort of novel I'd want to revisit. However, I enjoyed Graham's second novel much more - so she seems to be developing promisingly, and I look forward to reading her later work (I have two of the later novels) soon.
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Most recent customer reviews
Yes, I know it's Eliza Graham's first book.
Yes, I know I should cut her some slack.Read more
I had to limit my reading but wanted to know how it would all end
and yet I didn't want to finish...Read more