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Speaking of Love by [Young, Angela]
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Speaking of Love Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Length: 332 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 952 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G4401G4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #290,233 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Speaking of Love is a first book, and please may it not be Angela Young's last. About a lot of things, including schizophrenia, love, loss, missing the point, it hits the spot on all of them. I was caught swiftly, and minded about more than one of the characters throughout. The stories are interwoven but stand alone, and each of the people lives and breathes in their own way, connected to each other, yet individual. Angela Young writes vivid description and includes unexpected but important detail that brings things alive. I loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
I really don't know where to start in order to do this book justice. I'll begin by saying that the opening lines had me hooked immediately . . . 'I have come home, after a long and difficult journey. I travelled alone and it was sometime before I realised that I had arrived'.

The tale we hear is about Iris who is a storyteller, her daughter Vivie, and Matthew, who was Vivie's childhood friend. All 3 take turns to tell their story, about how Iris has a mental breakdown and how her and Vivie become separated when Vivie was very young. The three stories end up linked together in a staggeringly beautiful finish that had me blubbing but at the same time filled me with joy. The book examines what it's like to live with someone who is suffering from a mental illness and the effects it has on everyone involved. The author makes us realise how important it is to tell each other what we are thinking and to not hide our feelings away from those we care about. I loved the symbolism of the tree all the way through this book and of how deep the story roots go. Also, I thought it was very clever to link the 3 main characters' chapters with fairy tales that are delightfully told.

Angela Young is definitely an author to look out for. More please, Angela!
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Format: Hardcover
Angela Young's novel has similarities with a couple of other modern novels I've mentioned on here - Maggie O'Farrell's The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, and Margaret Pelling's Work For Four Hands. The main similarity is that one reads investigatively; there is a central mystery to be unfurled, which will help explain why the characters act as they do, respond (or, rather, don't) to each other in the ways they do. Even without all the other reasons to read on, the need to discover how all the pieces fit together is enough to keep anybody hooked.

Speaking of Love is divided into three narrative strands, Iris's Story; Vivie's Story; Matthew's Story. At first I thought this was overkill, and did get a little confused - surely we don't need all three voices? How wrong I was. They are distinct personas, and Young cleverly presents Vivie in the third person, alongside Iris and Matthew in the first person, so little overlap occurs. No character has more than a few pages at any one time, and they always took up the narrative again at exactly the moment I was thinking "Hmm, we haven't heard from Iris/Vivie/Matthew in a while, I hope they're next".

Iris is, appropriately enough, a storyteller - though one who has suffered destructive illness - and is heading towards a storytellers' festival. Vivie, her daughter, hasn't seen her for years, and is suffering her own personal crises. Matthew, Vivie's childhood friend, is also off to the festival, with his father, to hear Iris. As these characters and their relationships are explored, so too are their shared and separate pasts - pieces of the puzzle are continually proferred, though never in such a way as they feel incongruous in the narrative.
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By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Aug. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Iris is a charismatic storyteller, who, at the start of Angela Young's very original novel, is about to speak at a festival in Wales. Stories have sustained Iris all her life, and won her friends, and a lover. But Iris has also struggled for much of her life with depression, following the traumatic death of her mother when she was a child, and her father's subsequent introversion. And in her twenties, after her lover deserted her and their child, she began to suffer from schizophrenia, a regular curse throughout her adult years. As a consequence, Iris's daughter Vivie has grown up feeling the world is an uncertain and frightening place, and uncertain of her mother's love. She is blind to the devotion of gentle Matthew, the son of her mother's next door neighbours, and as an adult drifts into an unhappy marriage with stodgy businessman Charles, and into alcoholism, which means that she is unable to hold down a job. Matthew meanwhile watches from the sidelines, desperate to prove his love for Vivie, but unsure how he can do so. Young's novel shifts between the viewpoints of Iris, Matthew and Vivie, and between their present-day lives (Vivie having lost another job, and with her marriage collapsing around her; Matthew finally confiding his sorrow to his father Dick as they travel from Suffolk to Wales and Iris's festival; Iris preparing for her storytelling festival and longing to see Vivie again) and their pasts. Through this method, Young explains why her characters have become as they are, and offers hope that, if they dare to say that crucial phrase 'I love you', they may be healed.

This is an ambitious first novel, and to be honest I wasn't entirely sure that Young quite pulled it off.
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