A View Of The Harbour: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC) Paperback – 6 Apr 2006
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Every one of her books is a treat and this is my favourite, because of its wonderful cast of characters, and because of the deftness with which Taylor's narrative moves between them ... A wonderful writer (Sarah Waters)
Jane Austen, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Bowen - soul-sisters all (Anne Tyler)
A wonderful novelist (Jilly Cooper)
An eye as sharply all-seeing as her prose-style is elegant - even the humdrum becomes astonishing (DAILY TELEGRAPH)
* An unforgettable picture of love, loss and the keeping up of appearancesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I would not have picked this up if it had not been for a personal recommendation and I was delighted by it.
Out for a stroll one day Mrs Palfrey slips and falls and is rescued by a young man, Ludo, who is kind and helpful. He later allows her to give him dinner at her hotel. With a mixture of diffidence and confusion Mrs Palfrey allows the other residents to assume he is her grandson. He enters into this subterfuge quite happily when she feels forced to explain what has happened.
This an incisively written novel which dissects the trials of old age and estrangement from family. Despite its gentle pace and lack of event, it is eminently readable, and though not the most compelling thing I've ever read, it is deeply poignant. Unexciting lives do not make for eager reading, but there is a great deal about this book which stays in the mind. I find Elizabeth Taylor's writing exceptionally sympathetic, composed, clear-eyed and agreeable.
Nothing happens and everything happens - behind the harbour's net curtains, there is passion and betrayal, loneliness, loyalty, the dreadful vitality of the dying Mrs Bracey, the adolescent droopiness of Beth's daughter ... and you finish, as always with Elizabeth Taylor, wishing you could meet them all again in five years time and find out what happened to them all after the last page!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good book, but from being underrated the author has become a bit overrated. There are several infelicities of style. Read morePublished 16 hours ago by Mick
Enjoyed this immensely, can't think why it took me so long to get round to reading it. Mrs Palfrey and the other characters so beautifully drawn that I fell in love with them allPublished 27 days ago by 13Gerbera
A lovely, touching story.
Just the sort of gentle book I needed to read at the time!
A very moving book which somehow manages to combine great humour, pathos and a desperately sad premise. I can't recommend this too highly.Published 3 months ago by DavidT