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on 11 March 2018
This is the World Service.
A wonderful discovery. War-time atmophere on the Home Front, not as historical fiction,imagined by a youngster, with benefit of hindsight, modern political correct revisionism, but as it was experienced by someone who was there. Office politics and romance. The subtlty of character and human communication. Isolated souls. The arbitary nature of the world, seen from a slightly oblique angle. Sensitive and intelligent. Finely tuned. a narrative poem. Requires concentration. She refuses to dish it all out on a plate and insists that you participate and fill in the elipsises.
Pinter comes to mind or perhaps it's really Becket. Those better read will recognise the influences.You either accept her conditions, fall under her hypnotising spell and 'get it' or it passes you by and it is your loss. Feminine, in the positive sense, intimate, moving, the horrible business of living and remaining human in terrible times, a small canvas of needlework, like Jane's little piece of ivory. A welfare state Austen.
If you value and have a taste for war-time London stories, as I do, then this is for you. The millieu reminded me of Nigel Balchin's blitz-novel 'Darkness Falls from the Air' and 'The Small Back
Room'
I dismissed it at the time as not for me but now the right time has arrived for me and I'm grateful that I finally, if belatedly, caught up.
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on 15 August 2016
From a different world when everything seemed much gentler even though death and destruction was all around during the War. Very humorous if not laugh out loud funny and really should be read by anyone with even a passing interest in the BBC who might think that not a lot has changed. I will certainly hunt out more Penelope Fitzgerald.
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on 26 April 2018
What a marvellous writer Penelope F is. Who’d have thought you could tell a story about BBC staff during the Second World War and make it so much more? Off to read another book by her at once.
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on 21 March 2016
Set in the BBC (Langham Place) at the end of 1930s and into the years of the Second World War. Sharp and funny, in true Penelope Fitzgerald way, many engaging characters, although on this occasion it is possible to confuse two or three of them and to confuse their names
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on 5 February 2016
This revived memories of my schooldays
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on 26 January 2016
Bought as a present for my wife who has not had it yet, but Im sure she will love it
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on 14 July 2014
Afraid I struggled with this one, despite having loved Offshore and The Blue Flower, by the same author.
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on 6 January 2016
marvellous novel by a rmearkable woman
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on 14 January 2015
Great economy, very moving.
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on 4 April 2015
I have only recently discovered the joys of reading Penelope Fitzgerald and I have enjoyed everything I have read so far.
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