- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd (4 Feb. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846272297
- ISBN-13: 978-1846272295
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 906,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Still Point Paperback – 4 Feb 2010
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'A beautiful, unearthly novel, in which secrets continually open out onto a wild glare of Arctic light' --Francis Spufford, author of The Child That Books Built
`Sackville writes with great assurance and wonderfully evokes the polar landscape and the atmosphere of the period. A most promising debut' --Penelope Lively
`Remarkable both as stylist and storyteller, Sackville unfolds a love story of compelling contrasts ... a fine and distinctive first novel'
`The two worlds of ice and heat, a century apart, are carefully balanced by exquisitely restrained prose' --Guardian
`An exceptional debut novel ... She writes like a younger Rachel Cusk, precise poetry undercut by dry wit' --Financial Times
`Spanning a single day, the novel's dream-like structure belies its linguistic and emotional precision ... a poised beginning' --Daily Mail
'As iridescent in its writing as the snowy wastelands it evokes ... This is a novel of palpable promise' --Times Literary Supplement
'Sackville creates some soaring prose, full of elegance and confidence'
About the Author
AMY SACKVILLE was born in 1981. She studied English and Theatre Studies at Leeds, and went on to an MPhil in English at Exeter College, Oxford, and last year completed the MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and literary journals. This is her first novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
Julia, who is married to Simon, lives in the Mackley family house and is guardian of the archive from the ill-fated expedition. Some of the ship's crew survived, and eventually Edward's body was recovered along with his personal effects. Julia is an utter romantic and loved hearing all the stories of derring-do as a child.
The action in this novel takes place over twenty-four hot and sultry hours in the life of Julia and Simon. Their marriage is in something of a rut, but we start off in bed after a now uncharacteristic moment of passion. Simon, ever precise, goes off to work leaving Julia to work in the attic cataloging the collection, but she gives herself over to re-reading the ship's log and Mackley's diary on this hot summer day. Gradually Mackley and Emily's story and that of Julia and Simon reveal themselves to us as the day goes on, and there are surprises in store ...
I liked the way the author told us Julia and Simon's story in the summer heat and the present tense, and that of Emily and Mackley's arctic adventure in the past. The fact that it all takes place over one day made me cross my fingers that it wouldn't resemble If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor - another book that unfolds over a single day, but which I didn't get on with.Read more ›
Julia and Simon have moved into the explorer's family home, a house of many rooms, stuffed like a museum with Edward's treasures from his earlier Arctic adventures.
You don't have to read far to realise that this is a talented author who will hopefully write many more beautiful books. But although I loved both the idea and the style of the writing, there were aspects that I felt were weak and which therefore spoilt it for me.
Julia herself was the biggest weakness in my view. Despite reading about the detail of her day, with flashbacks to fill in her background story, I never felt I knew her as a person. Not only am I, the reader, made to feel like an observer, I am actually told that I am one, as in, for instance, `You can draw a little nearer, if you're very quiet.' Such comment, and many more besides, destroyed any illusion that I was going to share these people's lives and experience with them how they felt. It is a device used most conspicuously in the early pages of the book, and one that I particularly disliked. As a result, Julia remained a complete unknown so far as I was concerned, despite being the central character. I never understood her or how or why she functioned as she did.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Only just started this and so far text good. BUT the Kindle edition omits all apostrophes. Why? This isn't true of the paperback edition in "look inside". Read morePublished on 7 Oct. 2014 by LA
I couldn't rate this book highly enough. Hypnotic and sensual. A real masterpiece. Her second novel, Orkney, is also very good. A good read and money well spent. Thank you Amy xPublished on 14 Dec. 2013 by Anna
There is some beautiful writing in this book, and overall I enjoyed it very much. It's a little slow moving and repetitive in parts, however, and I would have struggled if I'd... Read morePublished on 4 Dec. 2013 by Mrs Norris
I am enjoying the book and the prose is lovely. I am appalled that apostrophes are all missing. This annoys me and interferes with my enjoyment of the book. Read morePublished on 18 July 2013 by Helen Embley
Good service, interesting novel.I will be lookin to read more by this new author in the future. Well done Amy.Published on 28 May 2013 by Francis D. Carlisle-Kitz
A very sweet story but the writing viewpoint was so irritating that I could not enjoy it.
At the end, I was left wondering whether I had missed something.
I was keen to read the book Orkney recently released by this author, as I love all books about Orkney and such isolated areas. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2013 by Keen Reader
The fact that there is not a single apostrophe makes it both annoying and ast times interferes with meaning. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2013 by Ms C E Crawford