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These Fragile Things Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is set in Streatham, London in the early 80's. Judy Jones, pops into a telephone box to have a conversation, without her mother listening in, when a wall collapses on her. Religion, in particular Catholicism, feature strongly as themes of near-death experiences and religious fervour, not subject matter I'd normally seek out, but the strength of the writing lifts the subject matter making it immensely readable. I was instantly drawn into the book and really wanted to know how the family would cope with all the changes including Judy's father converting to Catholicism against her mother's wishes.
Jane Davis really does bring characters to life, mothers, fathers, friends, teachers are all perfectly described along with their actions and reactions to events. I love the occasional asides, an overheard conversation here, or a mental comparison of one home with another there, all of which helps to anchor the story.
Ultimately relationships, albeit in extraordinary circumstances, are central to this book.
I was pleased to see there is a preview of another book included in the kindle edition by this talented writer.
Various contentious subjects are handled sensitively: the mysteries of the catholic faith, nymphomania, near death (out of body) experiences and, at its heart, the roots of the main characters' happiness and misery. Loneliness in all its forms is examined too, some of those we meet being enmeshed in a loneliness they cannot break free of, but are stolidly getting on with their lives in the only way they can, driven by their feelings and desires. There's the sadness of nostalgia, the yearning for 'what might have been if only . . .' And it's interesting also in the way that bizarre and strange occurrences are experienced by the characters, usually tackled head on, using a combination of common sense and hope.
The book takes on some pretty big issues and presents them carefully, examining just what might occur if such and such were to happen, and predicting logically the kind of events that might transpire. As a result of Judy's accident, the lives of her parents are never going to be the same again, and this 'changeability' of the fragile human psyche, to me, was what this book was all about. The frustrating reality of how one small decision can lead to catastrophe, and catastrophe can lead off into an unknown that overtakes your life, and there's no going back.
It's a thought provoking 'what if' book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
It is about a 'normal' family consisting of 3 members, Mum, Dad and teenage daughter, and how they all react after the daughter has a very bad accident. From various instances you can see how each member has reacted in a different way and how that then evolves into the 'family' life. Religion is saught/questioned by 2 of the members - something that had not really been thought about before the accident. The expections for the daughter, from the parents, differs widely as one saw the aftermath of the accident before she (the girl) was taken to hospital, the other didn't. Different voids set up within the family.
Jane has captured peoples anguish so amazingly - you feel all the emotions whilst reading this ebook. The book could have been a lot longer, going in to more detail about certain instances, but then again, I feel Jane has left them for you to think through yourself and what you would do/expect.
This is a book I would really recommend to anybody! Personally I think it is her best, by far, so far and cannot wait for a new one to be published!
The story is compelling and has been summarized for us: `As Streatham, South London, still reels from the riots in neighboring Brixton, Graham Jones, an ordinary father, grows fearful for his teenage daughter Judy who faces a world where the pace of change appears to be accelerating. But even he cannot predict what will happen next. A series of events is about to be unleashed over which he will have no control, and the lives of his family will change forever. When Judy claims to be seeing visions he will call it a miracle, and, to his wife's horror, the hungry press will label their daughter `The Miracle Girl.' Elaine, present when she came close to losing her daughter a first time - knowing it was the paramedics and surgeons who saved her - will demand a medical explanation. But Judy, refusing to become caught in this emotional tug-of-war, is adamant. She must tread her own path, wherever it takes her. Delusion, deception, diabolic...or is it just possible that Judy's apparitions are authentic?'
This is a book that deals with conflicts - between religion and superstition and acts of nature and science and perhaps luck - and how an earth-shattering act affects an ordinary family.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautifully written novel, moving and heart-breakingly sad at times. Immensely evocative of both time (it is set in the eighties) and place (Streatham, South London), I... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Wordcrazy
If one reads a lot, book after book (as I do), you sometimes get a sense of repeated themes, story arcs, and plot points that begin to run together in ways that make it hard to... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lorraine Devon Wilke
In "These Fragile Things", the characters’ thought processes, emotional machinations and motivations are unfolded with thoroughness and clarity in real time, giving us a... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Rohan Quine
I read this book with my book club and its themes and characters have stayed with me. It is so vividly written and the relationship between husband and wife is so subtle and... Read morePublished on 12 Mar. 2014 by Sally markwell
Really enjoyed this book. Interesting to see how one event affected all the characters in such different ways. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2014 by amazonjunkie
These Fragile Things is an essay on survival: what does it mean to survive? How do we define successful survival? Read morePublished on 2 Sept. 2013 by allonymbooks
Having loved "Jane's" first book."Half Truths and white lies" I was eager to start this book. I quickly became, "hooked "I couldn't wait to climb into bed every night for
the... Read more
Jane's three published novels to date (Half-truths and White Lies; I Stopped Time; These Fragile Things) are very different in character, but all are individually imaginative and... Read morePublished on 10 July 2013 by HappyHarry
Masterly writing on a subject most of us don't give a second thought to. Very well written with utterly believable characters.Published on 13 Jun. 2013 by Ruby slippers 66
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