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The Whole Day Through Paperback – 28 May 2009

3.4 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; Reprint edition (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007306016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007306015
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘This is a wry, clever, fautlessly crafted mini-soap threaded with sadness…beautifully written, precisely nuanced and assured’ Guardian

‘A bittersweet tale of what happens when you’re torn between duty and desire’ She

‘During the course of a summer’s day, memories are revisited, hearts, souls and consciences searched, and second chances fleetingly emerge…[Gale’s] fluid telescoping of past and present adds to the mood of quiet poignancy’ Sunday Times

‘Poignant and acutely observed’ Daily Express

About the Author

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. His most recent novels are Richard & Judy bestsellers ‘Notes from an Exhibition’ and ‘A Perfectly Good Man’.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Laura Lewis, a self-employed accountant in her forties with several unsuccessful love affairs behind her, leaves her Paris apartment and arrives in the city of Winchester to take care of her elderly mother, the formidably intellectual Professor Jellicoe, a retired virologist, who has become incapacitated due to osteoporosis. After dropping her mother off at the local hospital for a clinic appointment, Laura bumps into Ben, an old flame from her Oxford undergraduate days, who is a doctor specialising in sexually transmitted diseases and who has returned home to Winchester to care for his brother, Bobby, who has Mosaic Down's Syndrome. Set mainly over the course of a single summer's day, but also moving backwards and forwards in time, this deftly-crafted story shows how Ben ended his relationship with Laura whilst they were at Oxford, and how he began dating and then married the beautiful, but rather shallow Chloe; we read of how Ben's and Chloe's relationship is now experiencing significant difficulties, and of how Ben uses his brother's condition to take time out from his ailing marriage; we read of Laura's and Ben's pleasure at meeting up again after twenty years and of their renewed interest and reawakened love for one another, and we read of whether they will take the opportunity of this second chance of happiness to form a lasting relationship with one another…

As always with Patrick Gale, this is a beautifully written novel and one that is a confidently executed and perceptively observed story of relationships, of missed opportunities, and of the obligations and rewards of family life.
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I am a huge Patrick Gale fan and enjoy all his work. The action in this book takes place over a day and is very cleverly achieved and has an interesting outcome. I have only given it 4 stars as I felt the descriptions of the Protagonist's work in the Clinic were a touch overdone in a short book and felt a wee bit 'preachy'. Far be it for me to criticise the master - he usually has a light and illuminating touch when it comes to sexuality. This just felt like he was trying to push the point way beyond the place where I got it! It may be about when the book was first published and coming to it later, when we know a lot more about AIDS than might have been the case at publication. I still love him!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good story, most unusual and so well written. Could not put it down
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Three great books delivered safely. Thank you. Haven't read them yet so can't write a literary review!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just love the characters and the dialogue and the sensual descriptions of gardens, night air, thunderstorms and buildings. Brilliant
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've never read any Patrick Gale novels before, but after reading this, I certainly will now! 'The Whole Day Through'is just excellent! It is filled with longing.....for lost loves, lost lives, lost youth, and yearning........for what was, what could be, and what is. Laura and Ben were young lovers, though socially incompatible. Laura's parents were academics, and she has had an unorthodox upbringing - her parents being naturists, and estranged from family, as well as being older parents. Ben, on the other hand comes from a happy home, he has a brother with a mosaic form of Downs Syndrome, of whom Ben is very protective. Their affair is passionate, but eventually fizzles out. Laura moves on to Paris, where she has a succession of unsatisfactory affairs, and Ben becomes a Doctor specialising in HIV. He goes on to marry Chloe, who was a very popular, pretty and rich girl at University, and not someone that Laura could ever relate to. Years later, laura returns to England to care for her now widowed and disabled elderly mother, and bumps into Ben. Some passions never die - they are merely left simmering until a chance encounter awakens them, and so it is for Ben and Laura. However, they are older now, they each have responsibilities, and ties.
This book just aches with longing, and the dilemma which faces Ben and Laura is very real, and utterly believable. I loved it, devoured it, and will read it again. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Typical Patrick Gale, slick and accomplished, language polished to perfection, unpredictable, a smooth surface hiding dark undercurrents. His characters always seem a tad 'Notting Hill' but he has a way of getting to the inner man (or woman) and as usual there is plenty of sex - gay and straight.

Gale is one of the few writers to portray gay characters for what they are - just like the rest of us. However, Bobby, the gay chap in this book, is not like the rest of us, he has Mosaic Down's Syndrome. This is another Gale trademark - a character suffering some obscure medical condition. He seems to be on a mission to get us all to leave aside our prejudices and treat everyone as equals. I've always liked his treament of older people, portraying them (us!) as living, breathing, sexual beings. Professor Jellicoe shows us the fragility of life as she heads towards an old age dependent on her daughter Laura, bones broken by osteoporosis. Gale has a particular sympathy with women, (a previous novel gave me the vocabulary to describe the horrors of the menopause) such a rarity in a male writer. This is one of the reasons that he is almost my favourite author, a close second to Isabel Allende.

Laura is the dutiful daughter, Ben the lover (a venereologist - is Gale a frustrated doctor?) and brother of gay/Down's Bobby. Cloe is Ben's wife, waiting on the sidelines while he chooses between her and Laura. Like most of Gale's books, there are layers upon layers and he is maturing into a very significant writer who deserves a much wider readership.
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