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The Taxi Driver's Daughter Paperback – 3 Jun 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141012617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141012612
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 413,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

The Taxi Driver's Daughter was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Julia Darling's first novel Crocodile Soup was published to great acclaim in 1998 and was on the longlist for the Orange Prize. It will be reissued by Penguin in 2004. Darling is also a poet and playwright who has written plays for the stage and for radio. She was awarded the Northern Rock Writer's Prize in 2003. She lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


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Format: Paperback
Fifteen year old Caris starts to go off the rails when her mother is sent to prison for stealing a stiletto shoe. Her father Mac works as a taxi driver and seems to be oblivious to the fact that his family is falling apart until it nearly becomes too late.
I can't emphasise how much I loved this book. I live in Newcastle so it was a treat to read about all of the local landmarks (including the Shoe Tree - it really does exist in Armstrong Park in Heaton!) but my main reason for enjoying this book was the author's wonderful style of writing. Her talent at making you care about the characters (even poor old Nana)coupled with a skillful use of imagery are what makes the book such a success. And I have to disagree with another reviewer about the ending of the book as I thought it was a superb, unpredictable ending.
A truly wonderful book - one I could read again and again. The late Julia Darling was clearly an immensely talented author and I will definitely be reading her other work.
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By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A tautly-constructed, brilliantly told tale of a Newcastle family which begins to collapse when mother Louise steals an Italian shoe, assaults a policeman and is sent to prison for three months. Husband Mac continues to do what he has always done - work long shifts as a taxi driver - while beginning to fantasize about divorce and having an affair. Louise's boozy old mother, Nana (Irene) Price, turns up to live with Mac and his daughters and contrives to make everything somewhat worse with her drinking, bouts of lachrymose loneliness and endless rambling conversations. Stella, the bookish, hardworking older daughter retreats further and further into her studies, while struggling to keep the house fairly presentable and look after her father, grandmother and sister. And the spirited and rebellious younger sister, Caris, the daughter of the title, goes spectacularly off the rails after suffering bullying at school. She begins to play truant, spending more and more time with a public school drop out, George, with whom she begins to practice 'shoe art' or 'shoefiti' - taking shoes and decorating a tree with them. George makes her happy, but gradually we realize that he is a dangerous person, and one that may get Caris into more trouble than she can realize. Meanwhile in prison Louise discovers a talent she didn't realize she had, Stella gets more and more tired and unable to cope with her family, and Mac realizes the depths of his frustration with his career. As Caris gets into deeper and more dangerous waters through her relationship with George, the family realize that something will have to change - dramatically - if they are to survive.

This is an intensely readable book.
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Format: Hardcover
This arrived as a pass on from my parents in Greece who recommended it, particularly as we are all Geordies by birth.
I enjoyed it ; clear prose and unaffected dialogue. I thought the character of Caris was very sharply drawn, as was George. A novel well packed with contradictions; as is life - particularly in families. I was a little disappointed in the rapid and redemptive ending. The book reminded me of Kate Atkinson's 'Behind the scenes at the museum'
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