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on 6 August 2016
This Kindle edition is just one short story, not a collection. I would not have tried to buy it had I seen what other customers said. Now I wonder whether any further Kindle purchases will be similarly truncated. For those of us with sight impairment who can read a Kindle but not a book this is worrying - we depend on things working properly and this download doesn't.
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on 17 June 2016
Quite grim as it turns out but an engaging of country life in a bygone era which keeps the reader's interest until the wry conclusion which leaves a bitter taste.
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on 19 August 2014
The images created by her excellent language will not leave you after having read these short stories. Incredibly impressive and often very sad.
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on 8 April 2016
Beautiful book but so short. The pages are numbered incorrectly so instead of a book of short stories it is only one.
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on 12 April 2012
I expected much after reading the title story, which is poignant and interesting, but was disappointed by the rather samey themes of subsequent stories. Thereafter, tyrannical mother figures abounded, cruel losses and nasty life lessons repeated like a badly warmed potato.
The style was highly reminiscent of William Trevor, whom I generally find bleak and somewhat unpleasant. There was even a blind piano tuner trapped in a miserable relationship, except he was a blind storeman in Hill's version.
On the whole, Hill is more delicate than Trevor who seems to revel in life's petty cruelties.
The last story is Chekovian as the first
'Antonyin's.': An Englishman is happily entombed in a cold Eastern European peasant-zone and becomes entrapped by an ugly and boring woman determined that he should marry her.
My only question was- why does Hill keep saying he is happy in the first place? Despite boils, indigestion and turnip-smells? His female pursuer seems like an animated turnip herself, a Breughelesque manifestation of the freezing landscape and the revolting food she cooks.
Anyway, no spoilers, it has an interesting denoument.( No, he doesn't make mad passionate mashed turnip with her).
On the whole, this collection is worth reading, but lacks a defined style or voice, all the voices seem borrowed.
But isn't this Hill's forte?
She can out-19th Century Wilkie Collins and Henry James.....
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on 6 June 2015
I am extremely annoyed at being misled into buying what I believed to be a collection of short stories when it is just one extremely unsatisfactory short story of 23 pages. The reviews which I read before buying the book on Kindle all referred to a collection of stories. Has a mistake been made by Kindle in the information provided?
2 people found this helpful
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on 19 November 2015
This is a review of the Kindle edition. Rather than the stated 216 pages, this is a "shortcut" of the book, just the one short story. So the description on the webpage is misleading. Admittedly, the cost is very low, but nonetheless I was assuming I'd get the whole book! Is the whole book not available as a Kindle item? That said, the short story is well up to Susan Hill's usual standard, so the quality of the work is not in question.
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on 21 January 2015
A great read
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on 11 June 2015
Great book
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on 31 October 2015
For some reason I was less moved by this than I had anticipated.
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