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The Unspoken Truth by [Garnett, Angelica]
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The Unspoken Truth Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 308 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'engagingly honest' --The Times

'the work of a writer with very distinctive gifts' --Daily Telegraph

`Both fascinating and disconcerting, as [Garnett] gives the kaleidoscope of her memory another twist... precise and dazzlingly effective.' --Literary Review

`Beautifully written... enjoyable and accomplished'. -- Country Life

`Garnett has found her own voice, her own artistic expression - and a way of gaining power over them'.
--The Irish Times

'the whole book is distinguished by writing of great subtlety, whose precisely caught images and observations surprise and delight' --The Independent, February 2010

'the whole book is distinguished by writing of great subtlety, whose precisely caught images and observations surprise and delight --The Independent, February 2010

`Interesting and intriguing' --The Lady

Book Description

The Unspoken Truth is an intense, delicate and evocative quartet of autobiographical stories by one of Bloomsbury's inner circle, and one of its last survivors, the daughter of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 594 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (14 Jan. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RSBBY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #620,287 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You know that disclaimer often put at the beginning of films or novels, 'The plot and characters in this work are fictional, and any relation to actual people alive or dead is coincidental'? Well, perhaps wisely, Chatto & Windus haven't used that at the beginning of Angelica Garnett's new book The Unspoken Truth: A Quartet of Bloomsbury Stories. As Vanessa Bell's daughter she has a unique and invaluable viewpoint on the Bloomsbury group - one which sees them all as people as well as icons. 26 years after publishing her autobiography, and over ninety years old, Garnett is back with a book marketed as fiction, but just as clearly based in her experiences growing up.

Which, of course, is no bad thing - Garnett had such a fascinating childhood. We get unexpected glances on the legacy of her parents, throughout all the stories - 'It may seem strange that, brought up in an eminently intellectual atmosphere, I learned only how to feel and not to think.' These stories are roughly chronological, covering different sections of Garnett's life. The first is called 'When All The Leaves Were Green...' has Bettina as the heroine, and looks at growing up in a bohemian, artistic household, without any companion of Bettina's own age. It's a great depiction of Charleston, through the lens of fiction. I love this first excerpt, which brings across the vivid quality of living amongst those who sought beauty so avidly, and lived so vibrantly. It also shows how this feeling for beauty has found its way into Garnett's writing style. The second excerpt shows more the confusion and isolation which a young child can feel amongst bohemian adults.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Four stories which when you know details of the author's life, can be seen to be strongly autobiographical. A writing style that her aunt, Virginia Woolfe would have been proud of, exploring her emotions and relationships in the family of Vanessa Bell during a fascinating period of literary and artistic history
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Format: Hardcover
This is a curious book in many ways. It contains three short stories of varying length and one novella. It is written in a fictional mode but is clearly, almost transparently, autobiographical. Two of the stories deal directly with members of the Bloomsbury Group, the first a sensitive exploration of Garnett's famous childhood and her relationship with her parents, especially her mother, the second the last birthday party of a nonagenarian (probably Duncan Grant, her father) - this latter story is only a few pages long but it is a gem. The rest of the book deals with Garnett's uneasy, triangular friendships with two couples in France, and with the daughter of one of them, Aurore, in different periods of her life, the first beginning when she was teenager, sent to France to learn the language, the second when she was in her sixties.

They are all written with great perspicacity and self-awareness, in a prose style that's intelligent and beautiful. But because the author's memory is very thinly disguised as fiction, one is constantly playing a guessing game over the identities of the characters, left wondering what is fictionalised and what is memory; as such, neither form is entirely satisfactory. If you came to these two stories not knowing anything about the Bloomsbury Group, you'd find the shape of these stories odd, fragmentary, full of gaps; it is peppered with inconsequential elements that would not find a place in a purely imagined story, are there because they impressed themselves on the author's memory. The autobiographical element - which, let's face it, is the raison d'etre of these stories, the reason they were published - falls like a veil between writer and reader.
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Format: Hardcover
This quartet, three slight, one novella refreshes the delirium that was Bloomsbury, that mythical land of liberal and inventive artists living a dream in gardens beneath shaded trees, in Parisian garrets, loving and behaving like none before.

Angelica's memories are in tune with the times and though she helps along the mythology grown up around this "privileged" lot she can only add to its charm and nostalgia. We shall not see the like of them again and these little pieces are tantalisingly brief, the novella rich in language and desire.

A lovely find and highly recommended
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