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This Must Be the Place: Costa Award Shortlisted 2016 Paperback – 3 Nov 2016

4.3 out of 5 stars 172 customer reviews

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Costa Book Prize 2017
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry has won the Costa Book Prize 2017. See the full list of nominated books and find your favourites. Learn more
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Costa Book Prize 2017
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry has won the Costa Book Prize 2017. See the full list of nominated books and find your favourites. Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tinder Press (3 Nov. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472243773
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472243775
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A tour de force, a complex and nuanced story leaping effortlessly across multiple time frames... THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is that rare literary beast, both technically dazzling and deeply moving. It has all the structural and temporal playfulness of a Kate Atkinson novel while retaining the hallmark emotional insight for which O'Farrell has become renowned. It is her best novel to date, a book that surely confirms her as one of the UK's most assured, accomplished and inventive storytellers (Observer)

A symphony of stories and voices... absolutely gripping... A rare talent to enthral... It will leave you bereft and wanting more (Sunday Times)

Inventive, moving and hilarious. I loved it (Rachel Joyce)

Beautifully executed; a graceful, insightful exploration of a relationship in all its wonders and woes (Mail on Sunday)

Switching seamlessly between decades, destinations and voices, it's complex in scale, but is carried off with dazzling grace. A rich, engrossing feast of a novel to lose yourself in (Sunday Mirror)

A magnificent novel that is perceptive, profound and page-turning in equal measures. There are few things I look forward to like a Maggie O'Farrell novel and she never disappoints (Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love)

There is tragedy in the novel, but also sharp comedy, and O'Farrell, skilful as ever, plays with the novel form... In this rewarding and humane novel, O'Farrell brings alive the destructive effects of petty betrayals that affect everyone every day (Sunday Express)

For all that it whizzed about across times zones and continents, it is seamless and each character is fantastic at the next (Metro)

A new Maggie O'Farrell book is always a cause for celebration, but her seventh is so brilliant that you'll want to unfurl flags and put up bunting in her honour... Wonderfully written and absolutely addictive (Psychologies Magazine)

I haven't read a Maggie O'Farrell novel I didn't love and This Must Be The Place might be her finest work yet... A beautiful, ambitious triumph (Red Magazine)

Some books are for lingering over. Every sentence Maggie O'Farrell writes is so perfectly formed that you want to wallow in it. As a writer, she's perceptive, warm and particularly good at the nuances of family relationships. In This Must Be The Place, she casts her sharp but humane eye on a marriage in trouble (Good Housekeeping)

Maggie O'Farrell's new novel is beautiful... [an] epic endeavour to build a portrait of a relationship in its whole, contrary and complex plurality... the reader is won over, and rapt (i Newspaper)

She has, throughout her career, shown a willingness to experiment with form that many commercially successful writers wouldn't dare to do, as well as a willingness to explore difficult subject matter... epic and intimate (Herald)

The result is dazzling, her most accomplished book yet (The National)

Her best so far... epic but intimate too (Glamour)

Exquisite... exceptionally accomplished and emotionally sophisticated'... 'O'Farrell is tremendously sure-footed at wrong-footing the reader (Scotsman)

A complex, riveting novel of love and hope that grips at the heart... It will leave you bereft and wanting more (Sunday Times)

One of the most enjoyable and satisfying books of the year (Daily Express)

Deftly blurring the lines between holiday read and literary fiction, it's bound for the bestseller lists (Stylist)

No character is wasted, no word misspent... The reach is dazzlingly epic, the tone addictively accessible. In awe. (Grazia)

Fans will not be disappointed (The Times)

O'Farrell's seventh novel is as captivating and as intricately written as her previous offerings (Closer)

In the final pages, however, we are allowed to slow right down, to savour the culmination of everything that has come before, and to remember just how gifted a storyteller O'Farrell truly is (Irish Independent)

A conjuror's sleight of hand... a deft and compelling chronicler of human relationships (Guardian)

This Must Be The Place is her best yet ... At the heart of this smart, structurally interesting but never over-clever novel is the story of a relationship ... If she was a man she'd be Man Booker-shortlisted, as it is she'll have to settle for just being brilliant (The Pool)

An utterly compelling story which loops between decades and the hearts of its characters with enormous warmth, wit and poignancy. (Isabel Costello)

A magnificent novel that is perceptive, profound and page-turning in equal measures. There are few things I look forward to like a Maggie O'Farrell novel and she never disappoints (Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love)

A tour de force, a complex and nuanced story leaping effortlessly across multiple characters and time frames... destined to be one of the most acclaimed books of 2016 (Hannah Beckerman, Author of The Dead Wife's Handbook)

Book Description

An addictive and unforgettable novel of a marriage in freefall, shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2016.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Denise4891💁🏻 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2016
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The central character in Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel This Must Be The Place is middle-aged linguistics lecturer Daniel Sullivan who, when we first meet him, has been living on a remote farm in Donegal for almost 10 years with his wife Claudette, a reclusive former film star, and their son and daughter. He also has two older children back home in the States, from whom he is estranged following the acrimonious split from his first wife . Daniel is about to embark on his first trip to the US in five years to attend his father’s 90th birthday celebrations and we are about to embark on a chaotic and thoroughly entertaining journey through his life.

After setting the scene in this way, the structure of the book becomes almost a series of inter-connected short stories featuring Daniel’s family and friends, with the central link throughout being Daniel and Claudette’s tempestuous relationship and the fall-out from their various hot-headed encounters and rash decisions. The timelines fluctuate but I found them easy to follow as the storyline developed. From my perspective location, the key themes were fate and a sense of belonging, as the characters struggled to find their identities and establish their place in a fast-changing world.

This book is quite a departure in both structure and subject matter from the somewhat brooding and introspective style I associate with Maggie O’Farrell’s earlier work (of which I’m a huge fan, I love brooding and introspective!) and I'm sure it will widen her appeal even further.
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Format: Hardcover
This Must Be The Place is the seventh novel by Irish author Maggie O’Farrell. Her novels are renown for their delicate exploration of relationships, whether it be familial or romantic, and her elegant prose adds more to the charm, making her novels well-loved by readers.

Unfortunately, I have been living under a rock — I have never read a Maggie O’Farrell novel before this one. The big initial sell of This Must Be The Place for me was that it involved travelling, and I was only too happy to delve into a book that contains my other favourite activity. The fascinating premise supplemented my interest: it purports to be a book that “crosses continents and time zones [..]” and “at its heart, [..] an extraordinary portrait of a marriage, the forces that hold it together, and the pressures that drive it apart.”

The primary characters are Daniel Sullivan, an American linguistics living in a remote corner of Donegal, Ireland, and his wife, Claudette Wells, a famous ex-actress who had disappeared from the public eye at the height of her popularity, and is since determined to live a hermitic life with her children. The novel details their present lives, their lives in their youth before they met, how their marriage came to be, and the challenge of keeping it together compounded by past history and personal demons.

As a virgin reader of Maggie O’Farrell books, I can definitely agree with the praise heaped on the author. In this novel, I found her absolutely deft in burrowing, pulling apart, and putting together the seams of personal relationships, without venturing into melodrama, saccharinity, or over grittiness.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Imagine you are enjoying an enthralling book and it is snatched from you and the pages returned in the wrong order - well that's what keeps happening in this book!
It's a gripping story with a sympathetic male character but it jumps madly from decade to decade and breaks off to dash back in time to his partner and her previous partner (one guesses) his children, university friends and parents.
Why it couldn't be told in an enjoyable way I can't imagine because, in usual fashion, Maggie O'Farrell tells an intriguing tale and I desperately wanted to know what came next - it's just that we keep getting interrupted.
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Format: Hardcover
“She wasn’t going to look at him again, no, she wasn’t….. Then she did look and the same sensations hit again, like a row of dominoes toppling into each other: the towering sense of recognition, the disbelief that she doesn’t somehow know him, the ridiculousness that they do not know each other, the impossibility of them not seeing each other again”

This Must Be The Place is the seventh novel by British author, Maggie O’Farrell. Claudette Wells is Daniel Sullivan’s second wife. Even after several years of living together in a remote corner of Donegal, and fathering two children with her, he still finds it hard to believe that this eccentric, occasionally crazy, reclusive and beautiful ex-film star ever agreed to marry him. Later, he will remember this, and wonder what possessed him to put all that at risk. But now, a chance snippet of a radio broadcast, heard on the way to the train, sets him on a path to his past.

Daniel heads off to New York, to his (not at all beloved) father’s 90th birthday party, makes an unplanned detour to California see the son and daughter from whom he has been kept for nine years by a vindictive ex-wife, then detours again to Sussex. What he learns there has such a profound effect on him, it threatens to derail the best thing in his life.

O’Farrell has done it again! This extended family, this cast of characters, they pull the reader in. She draws each of them so well, with all their flaws and foibles, that the reader cannot help but find them appealing, hoping that things will turn out okay for them, laughing with them when they do and shedding a tear or two when they don’t.
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