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Julialikes (was passionatereader) (middle England)

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My Former Heart
My Former Heart
by Cressida Connolly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Sweetness and Pain, 28 Oct. 2012
This review is from: My Former Heart (Hardcover)
This novel carried me away with its layer upon layer of precisely nuanced emotion, capturing the needs and wants of women's loves with an acuity that moves between sweetness and pain. Written with a realism that is imaginative and penetrating, it draws you further and further in to a world that the author has created and is the world of every woman who has ever loved.


The Mariner's Star
The Mariner's Star
by Candida Clark
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read, 5 Feb. 2011
This review is from: The Mariner's Star (Paperback)
This book was beautifully lyrical and held me riveted to the finish, albeit slightly reluctantly in that I did not find in it the sense of the wider dimension I yearn for, but nevertheless an excellent piece of writing and I shall try this author again.


The Great Fire
The Great Fire
by Shirley Hazzard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Superior Read, 2 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Great Fire (Paperback)
This is a simple story, beautifully told, with exquisite and resonant language, delicate observation, lights and shades, a book to delight in.


Letter to Lorenzo (Bloomsbury Paperbacks)
Letter to Lorenzo (Bloomsbury Paperbacks)
by Amanda Prantera
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Superior Read, 31 Mar. 2010
A polished and perceptive journey through the pain of loss and betrayal. This story builds up in generous but significantly selected naturalistic detail a picture of an engaged life and the varying qualities and textures of its relationships. Even the bit parts have depth. The philospher's grief and hurt evolve and mutate to wistfulness and release in a natural process. A surprising exuberance propels the plot, and an unexpected, but good, ending provides a delicate resolution. Clever fluent prose; a superior ability and a superior read.


Don Giovanna
Don Giovanna
by Amanda Prantera
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read, 16 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Don Giovanna (Hardcover)
The author displays such warmth towards all of the characters. Another gem from this inventive and experimental but consistently reliable author.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 6, 2009 10:12 PM BST


Proto Zoe
Proto Zoe
by Amanda Prantera
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read, 16 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Proto Zoe (Hardcover)
This author's love of language shows in her original metaphors that never draw attention to themselves. She does not describe emotion so much as place you where the emotion is being felt. The narrator is generous towards her past, looking back at painful episodes of a young life through a reflective, thoughtful window, distilling the memories to a wistful recognition of universality and common sympathy that lessens the hurt. Each chapter is very different and to be savoured independently. You pause between each one. Observant, brave, confident, elegant (even on the subject of horses' ailments), above all, this book is interesting. Prantera revels in the quaint and curious without making it seem weird or wonderful. So many stories and settings, each rendered very visually. You are there. This book is completely entertaining.


Strange Loop
Strange Loop
by Amanda Prantera
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read, 16 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Strange Loop (Paperback)
Having ascertained from the back cover and the opening paragraphs that this was a Gothic novel I gave myself permission to fail to read it through to the end, on the grounds of the genre, without detracting from my respect and admiration for one of my most favourite authors. There was no need for this caution. The intelligence of the writing, the smoothness of it, as though it had been written at a single sitting, persuaded me to forget my prejudiced attitude towards a perceived obstruction. The narrator's character is expressed perfectly in the writing style. The pace is perfect, as it always is with Amanda Prantera: she plays out the rope of her plot to you at just precisely the measure that you need and want. There are times when she makes me feel like a small child being rewarded with sweets for finding and registering her nuances and markers. It is an intimate communion. A completely satisfying and rewarding read.


Capri File
Capri File
by Amanda Prantera
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read, 16 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Capri File (Hardcover)
A joy to read. Perfect timing; a sustained balanced pace; very visual writing; a whole view conveyed in the selection of particulars; gobbets of learning flatter the reader, rewarding the observant. Prantera is not too controlled or far-reaching in manoeuvring the plot, just one step ahead, the next page only just out of reach, each new email a step up on the emotional, sensing and intellectual planes, all steps the same height, the end of each one a chance to draw back and recover. Prantera enters into a relationship of complicity with the reader, identifying with you on several levels of communication.


Bliss and Other Stories (Bloomsbury Classic)
Bliss and Other Stories (Bloomsbury Classic)
by Katherine Mansfield
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read, 16 Nov. 2008
These perfectly formed short stories are like brightly coloured miniatures in an art gallery. The author's choice of format for her stories produces a fast paced series of scenes, very visually rendered, sometimes covering a very short space of time, perhaps a few hours, one story at least probably covers half an hour. Each story ends with a sense of a line having been firmly drawn or a door firmly closed on the scene, so that one imagines the characters continuing their progress but one is satisfied that one has seen and understood enough. The stories are about characters whose feelings surprise them or hinder them or are unrecognised by them. These emotions are depicted through sharp observation of reported speech and of unexpressed inner feelings and thoughts, with revealing and sometimes comic results arising from the natural discrepancies. The author (and therefore the reader too) sees more than the characters do themselves, as in Jane Austen. Sharply observed and cool but not detached. Timeless classic writing.


The Antelope Wife
The Antelope Wife
by Louise Erdrich
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read, 16 Nov. 2008
This review is from: The Antelope Wife (Paperback)
Intense and resonant writing, every word placed accurately in the pattern like the beading that the Indian women in the story sew. It has to be only the words she has selected. No other word would ever do. There is one short section, a handful of paragraphs, where this is not the case and this shows up the rest of the book for its brilliance and sheen and power, again like the beads that are a recurring motif throughout. Each character is precisely rendered in his or her individual speech. Erdrich is searching out the patterns in her long view of six generations in a wide family: accidents of birth; the significance of names; responsibility and ownership within family relationships; the good man (the master butcher in another book, the master baker in this one); the well-intenioned snagged on their own short view and consequent lack of hope; the power of the bottle; the flimsiness of family structure underpinned by the strength and endurance of love; the longings that propel us forward. "We stand on tiptoe, trying to see over the edge, and only catch a glimpse of the next bead on the string .... the needle flashing over the horizon." Erdrich sees further over the edge than we do; she has an insight into the native American holistic view.


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