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The Proof of Love Audio Download – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 27 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 19 Sept. 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005O0S5CG

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Set over the astonshing British heatwave of 1976 (if you're not old enough to remember it, lawns were parched, the sun felt like it would never set and the light blinded you with its intensity), Catherine Hall's second novel follows a Cambridge mathematics postgrad as he swaps college life for a summer on a coarse Cumbrian sheep farm. Hoping to keep himself to himself, he instead becomes entangled in the dark secrets of rural life, with riveting and unexpected consequences.

Hall's elegant and spare style - she is not one for overblown metaphors or tricky literary devices - lets the story tell itself. And what a story, it is.

A fast read and an engaging one that surprises, delights and disturbs in equal measure.

Very much recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book I've read this year (so far) and since reading it a couple of weeks ago I still catch myself thinking about it even now (and for a while to come I suspect) - always the sign of a good book in my opinion. The language and action of the book is understated yet it gets under your skin right from the start. I had a fair few late nights where I just couldn't put it down. A sad but beautiful book.
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Format: Paperback
The Proof of Love is a fantastic read that I would recommend whole heartedly. The story builds from the moment it starts, the pace is deceptive and the story climaxes with an inevitable, but truly tragic ending. I had to put it down for a couple of nights for fear of the ending and of finishing it too quickly. Catherine Hall has captured the smells, sounds, texture and total essence of the Lake District valley, bringing vivid childhood memories of mine flooding back. Her knowledge and descriptions are vivid and the characters so real. The Proof of Love is totally different to her 1st novel, Days of Grace, but written with the same incredible descriptions, I can't wait for more!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the blisteringly hot summer of 1976, mathematician Spencer Little escapes from Cambridge, where he has been working on his doctoral thesis, and arrives at a Cumbrian sheep farm, where offers his help as a labourer in exchange for bed and board - his bed being in a very basic shepherd's hut beside a running stream, some way from the farmhouse. The farmer, Hartley Dodds, is a rough and sullen man who drinks heavily and treats his wife, Mary, mostly with indifference, and his daughter, ten-year-old Alice, with little outward affection. Despite trying to keep himself to himself, Spencer finds himself spending time with the bright and very engaging Alice, with whom he builds a friendship and, as time passes, he also finds himself becoming the confidante of the unhappy and under-appreciated Mary. However, as the story progresses, we discover that Spencer has a secret of which he feels ashamed and of which, by throwing himself into intense physical labour, he is hoping to expunge. And then somebody unexpected arrives in his life and arouses in him a passion that he finds difficult to contain, and which contributes to a tragedy occurring which has devastating consequences for almost everyone around him.

Catherine Hall writes with vividly and atmospherically about the Cumbrian landscape and of the harsh life of a sheep farmer (which I found very interesting) and it was easy to become drawn into this involving and atmospheric story.
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Format: Paperback
There are some books that catch your unawares when you least expect it. They take you away to a world you aren't sure will be your `cup of tea' and captivate you, they make you want to read the whole book in a sitting or two whilst also wanting to make every single page count. You are bereft when the book finishes is and you can't stop talking about it at any opportunity you get. `The Proof of Love' by Catherine Hall is a book that did just that. I admit that if someone had said `read a book about a Cambridge mathematician who escapes the academic world by voluntarily farming in the lake district in the 1970's' I probably would have said, very politely, `I'm not sure that's my thing'. However I couldn't have been more wrong by this exceptional novel which will be flying into my top five books of the year so far no questions.

Spencer Little arrives in a rural village in the Lake District by bicycle on the hottest day of the sweltering summer of 1976 looking for nothing more than work in exchange for lodging and board. He decides to try the first farm he comes across, Mirethwaite, and the home of the Dodd's family. Here he becomes a kind of addition to a rather interesting family consisting of the young and loveably precocious ten year old Alice, her subdued mother Mary and the head of the household, and rather frightening, Hartley, a man fuelled by alcohol and anger. It's an interesting dynamic to a tale about rural life and `incomers' as well as one of just why Spencer is escaping from the very start and one that becomes more compelling as it goes.

As well as there being the family dynamic in `The Proof of Love' Catherine Hall also introduces the villagers and village life.
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