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The Whole Day Through Paperback – 1 Jan 2009
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Audio Download, Unabridged
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‘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
The compelling, beautiful story of the choices we make when we face our past from the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.See all Product description
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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. I particularly enjoyed the author's unsentimental portrayal of the affinity between Laura and her mother (he acknowledges his debt to his own mother and sister for allowing him to draw inspiration from their relationship for this book), and I also found Mr Gale's exquisite descriptions of the details of Laura's dally life very rewarding to read (although I have to mention that I could have easily managed without the details of Ben's work with patients who'd contracted sexually transmitted diseases). In addition, I very much enjoyed the descriptions of the city of Winchester (which I know well) and despite finding parts of the story a little less than convincing and feeling that the story ended too suddenly (I can't explain further without revealing spoilers), I really enjoyed this novel and have returned it straight away to one of my bookcases to experience again in the future. I can also recommend the following books by the same author: 'A Perfectly Good Man';'Notes From An Exhibition';'Friendly Fire';'Ease' and 'Kansas in August'.
Laura and Ben were lovers during their student days, and find themselves reunited some years later. Laura has had to return from Paris to care for her elderly mother, whilst Ben has sought work locally as a consultant in genitourinary medicine in order to care for his younger brother who has Down's syndrome.
The book apparently follows a day in their lives, alternating between their perspectives. However, I often lost track of which events were current, and which were flashbacks, and found myself increasingly frustrated with Ben and Laura. For me the most interesting character was Laura's mother - the redoubtable Professor Jellicoe, who is struggling with the dual challenges of physical ageing and being 'put out to pasture' by the academic world, whilst her mind remains as sharp as ever.
Despite the frustrations, I enjoyed the story book, but the ending frankly left me wondering why I'd bothered...
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