- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 55 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Isis Publishing Ltd
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 6 Sept. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009T9T92I
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Poet's Wife Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
If you've never been to Helpston, birthplace of John Clare, this is the novel to take you there.
Written with the sublime literary finesse we've come to expect from Judith Allnatt,
`A Poet's Wife' is the story of a deep love Patty feels is lost to her by her genius
husband's freefall into madness. Hurt he's escaped from the lunatic asylum to look for his late sweetheart Mary Joyce, who Clare believes is still alive, Patty attempts to conquer her anger and regain the peasant poet's unrequited love.
Capturing the time period with power and emotion this novel is a must for John Clare fans, historical fiction lovers and admirers of Judith Allnatt, one of the most articulate writers in English literature. For those who wondered how she'd emulate the brilliance of `A Mile of River' her latest masterpiece answers the question.
Judith's tender, empathetic portrayal of Patty as a young girl and through her life's journey into courtship, pregnancy, marriage and motherhood is gripping and absolutely engaging. I felt her mood, response, reaction and loved her outspoken replies to some of the hurt inflicted on her by her husband, John Clare.
I was at the book launch in the library in Northampton and enjoyed Judith's reading of selected extracts from the book enormously. As I have come to read them myself they are improved and amplified by my recollection of the writer's poetic voice reading her own words. It is a superb portrayal of Patty's heart and the suffering and love she bore.
The description of John's episodes of psychosis and distraction are brilliant and his creative journey so fascinating.
As in Judith's first novel " A Mile of River" this is a superb, gripping, compelling and highly intelligent read.
Patty remains faithful to John through all their problems and manages to scrape a living with the help of her children and Father-in-Law whilst John is in a sanatorium, and during his brief stay back at home.
I particularly liked the old terminology for things, such as Pettichap, which I had to look up, and the wonderful description of the landscape and how the harvest was brought in.
The novel has left me with the desire to get a book of John Clare's Poems and to go to Northamptonshire and look up the places mentioned.
Set in the 1840's and narrated by Patty, John Clare's wife, the story centers on her struggles of daily life and bringing up a family whilst coping with John's mental illness. This was at a time when John Clare was in and out of asylums and mental illness was little understood. Patty also reflects on the happier times in her life.
There is no big plot to rush along with in this book and I enjoyed reading it at a slow pace. The writing is descriptive, but not overly done. The countryside setting is atmospheric, especially because Judith Allnatt has the knack of being able to transport the reader to the time and place.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
interesting and well written - I read this over a couple of days and really enjoyed it!Published 5 months ago by lynn
Beautifully written and full of compassion. I cannot wait to read another of Judith Allnatt's novels.Published 6 months ago by PJ
I enjoyed the historical facts and I've from her side as I had just read the Andrew fouls bookPublished 12 months ago by valrawlings
A beautifully written book. I wanted to sit and read it again.Published 17 months ago by jackie fletcher
A very well written book which gets better and better as you progress. I love those poems as well, and yes I may want to buy John Clare's poetry book.Published on 3 May 2014 by minako