Promised Lands Paperback – 2 Nov 2000
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ambitiously conceived and brilliantly realized (THE TIMES)
Sublime ... A haunting and passionate novel, beautifully related, with some of the best passages of descriptive writing I have read for a long time (INDEPENDENT)
Compelling, elegantly written, acutely intelligent and thoughtful (TIME OUT)
One of Jane Roger's many strengths as a literary novelist is her ability to blend fact and fiction entertainingly and almost seamlessly...a distinctive, dynamic work that explores the nature of all types of exile. (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING)
* Jane Rogers intertwines the powerful dramas of the first year of the convict-colony with present-day lives in her classic novelSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
The book has a double focus - partly on William and partly on modern-day Stephen who is writing Dawes' story after coming to grief as a deputy head in a comprehensive school - his politics took over and the local press did the rest as his experimental ideas of equality between children and teachers failed dismally.
Stephen's wife is Olla, an ex-chambermaid and refugee from Poland. Olla wants only children, house, security but her children are born handicapped. Timothy, her first, dies after a few months, but her second, Daniel, she feels sure will live. Her attitude to Daniel is extraordinary. Under the guise of his disability Olla senses extra-sensory powers and when brain activity much stronger than expected is detected in Daniel it seems she might be right to have such faith. But are we, as readers, expected to believe that the child is something special? I don't think so. Olla is clearly not all there, but at the same time her belief in Daniel is heroic - against the odds she seems to have succeeded in drawing more from him than could ever have been expected, given his disabilities.
Stephen, meanwhile, has become obsessed by his subject - Australia - and off he goes to drive through the outback - only to break down in the middle of nowhere and, presumably (this isn't made clear), perish.
William Dawes was a real person; there are records of his work in helping to create the first Australian settlement. He later returned to England and went off (with a different wife each time) to teach natives, first in Sierra Leone and then to Antigua.
What is the point of these very different but equally absorbing plot lines? Good intentions may not end in goodness; ignorant women might be wiser than they seem - these at any rate seem to be the themes that unite the two plots. The story lines all had something different to say - William Dawes' was easily the most enjoyable, even though it was fraught with privation and struggle. Stephen's story was about the disappointed man's struggle to live by his ideals and linked well with Dawes' self-discoveries in Australia. Olla's was the most difficult to take since her faith seemed ludicrous in the face of medical reality and any vindication was not really forthcoming. The mystical fancies of an otherwise excellent writer failed, here, to match up to her narrative drive. Nevertheless, this is a very engaging book with an impressive range. One might say, you get two novels in one book, admirably compressed and leaving nothing out.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com