The blank wall (Pocket book)
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Top Customer Reviews
Lucia's daughter, Bee, is a worry to her. She has become involved with an older man who her mother thinks is quite unsuitable, and Lucia is determined to put a stop to the relationship.
Her efforts though lead to a whole series of events - murder, blackmail, fraud - that threaten to destroy the very things that Lucia is trying to protect.
It's a simple story, but it's so terribly well executed.
Lucia, her family, and their relationships are so well drawn. The central conflict between mother and daughter is particularly well done. Lucia went straight from school to marriage and motherhood, but her daughter wants a very different life. Neither can understand the other.
That spoke loudly and clearly of the changing times. So did the many small inconveniences of daily life in a small America town during wartime
Lucia's life, once so certain, was certain no more.
She had to keep her family safe, but she struggled to balance that with the demands of her children, her father, her home, her community.
Her behaviour, her attitude, became less and less rational, and at times I was infuriated as I watched her, but I really couldn't have come up with a better plan.
Overall the balance of the book is lovely: perfect family and domestic details on one side of the scale, and classic suspense on the other.
And a mystery driven so well by character is a wonderful thing.
The ending maybe tilted a little too much towards melodrama, but it didn't matter. I was already hooked by the story and the characters, and it did round things off nicely.Read more ›
With the story being told from Lucia's perspective, we are given lots of insights into her thought processes as she tries to cope with the disruption to her previously peaceful life. I could really feel Lucia's fear and panic as everything seemed to be closing in around her. I didn't always understand her actions and there were times when I felt frustrated with her because some of her decisions were clearly silly and irrational, but it was an interesting study into the way a 1940s woman of Lucia's class and background might have reacted. It was easy to see why Lucia felt under so much pressure. She was doing her best to take care of her family during wartime and provide meals for them despite rationing and shortages, as well as trying to solve their personal problems and keep them safe - while continuing to send letters to her husband assuring him that everything at home was fine.
The pages of The Blank Wall are filled with tension and suspense. The plot is exciting and fast-paced and I could never guess what might happen next.Read more ›
Lucia’s husband Tom is away in the war. She writes conventional, dull letters to him
“Lucia Holley wrote every night to her husband, who was somewhere in the Pacific. They were very dull letters, as she knew; they gave Commander Holley a picture of a life placid and sunny as a little mountain lake.
“Dear Tom,” she wrote. “It is pouring rain tonight”
She crossed it out, and sat for a moment looking at the window where the rain slid down the glass in a silver torrent. There’s no use telling him that, she thought. It might sound rather dreary. “The crocuses are just up” she wrote."
You get the picture, Lucia is conventional; Lucia is rather dull. She is a kind, loyal to her family kind of woman. She is a quite well off woman, normal, comfortable. She would probably be living the American Dream were it not for the war, which sees her raising her two children and taking care of her elderly father, all by herself. She is most definitely not the kind of woman to go breaking the law. Her two children, Bee, and her younger brother David are either slap bang in the middle of rebellious late adolescence or about to enter that state. They both hold their mother in slight or extreme contempt, precisely because she is so very conventional.
Bee has begun some kind of liaison with a most unsuitable older man. He is married, but that is far from the only unsuitable thing about him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book begins like a fairly mundane account of a middle class family in the time of the Second World War, but a dramatic event at the very beginning transforms it into a tense... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Rachel Mccollin
Lucia writes anodyne letters to her husband away at war, not wishing to disturb him with the increasing drama at home. Read morePublished on 10 July 2014 by Sabina
Into the most ordinary lives, drama can erupt. Into the life of Lucia, coping on a reasonable income while her husband is away fighting WWII, erupts that common issue, the... Read morePublished on 5 July 2014 by Josa Young