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P. G. Underhill

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The Hand That First Held Mine
The Hand That First Held Mine
by Maggie O'Farrell
Edition: Hardcover

103 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hand That First Held Mine, 14 April 2010
Having managed to steal a friend's proof copy of The Hand that First Held Mine, I am thrilled to be ahead of the game and report that it didn't disappoint.

Having long been a Maggie O'Farrell fan (I have read everything of hers), this was by far my favourite. A super smart, complex and subtle dual narrative, this book is a beautifully crafted, at times funny, at times sad tale of instant attraction, deep, deep love, brutal loss, the trauma that change can bring as well as a searingly honest examination of the reality of parenthood.

What I loved most about this book is that it managed to combine a raw love story (Lexie and Innes) with an unflinching look at what the arrival of a baby can do to a relationship and how it can strip a mother and father (Ted and Elina) of their individual sense of self, as well as how their baby totally changed their relationship. And at the same time, the real genius, was that the author kept me guessing right until the very end when it came to working about how the two stories were linked. The pace is relentlessly tight - I didn't see it coming at all! I can't recommend it highly enough.

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