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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Wow, what can I say? This was an absolutely brilliant book and not what I expected at all. This is a totally original story, with wonderful characters and as usual first class writing. Lisa Jewell is showing the world what she is made of that's for sure!

When I received the book I was looking forward to reading it and the cover with it's bright turquoise colours looked as usual very appealing. Lydia, Robyn and Dean are the glue that holds this story together along with their anonymous sperm donor father Daniel.

We are introduced to each of the characters in turn and learn their current situation as well as a little of each of their pasts. The story was unhurried but not slow, it gives the reader time to get a real feel for each of these people and how their lives have been affected by being the result of a sperm donor as a father.

The character Lydia was the first we meet and as we see her wealth and personal success we also see the downside to her life and the way in which she deals with the problems she faces. Lydia seems to be the catalyst for the others joining in the story and slowly we meet young Robyn who seems to have it all but knows there is something missing. Lastly we meet Dean whose life seems to be one big train wreck, and although he isn't making smart choices I loved his character.

By the time you are over halfway through the book you are rooting for all of them involved as you feel like you are taking the journey that links their pasts with them. I read this book in a day and a half and though it was absolutely brilliant.

It isn't your typical `chick lit' story but Lisa Jewell's brilliant writing style shines through as ever and she has an edge of humour even amongst the sadness. This certainly wasn't what I expected but I have to say it equated to so much more in my eyes. Lisa Jewell has produced a very touching story with loveable characters and has introduced an original storyline to boot.

Even though this may not seem like her sort of book, trust me it's even better and well worth picking up to read, highly recommended!!!
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on 2 May 2017
This is the third book that I have read by this author and, once again, I couldn't put it down! It is very well written and gives a wonderful insight into how important it is for us all to know where we have come from and to feel a sense of belonging. All the characters were likeable in their own ways and the story was quite uplifting in that a group of young people all lacking self esteem came to understand and like themselves as the story progressed. I am looking forward to reading another of Lisa Jewell's novels very soon.
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on 21 October 2014
Lisa Jewell is that refreshing thing, a genre busting writer. Not for her the easy cliche of the 'central romance'. She writes her way into a situation and all the way out again. I very much admire her deft use of English, and her characters too. Altogether, she is a new find for me and I can see much enjoyment stretching ahead.
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on 12 March 2017
A beautifully written book with great characters. The story was around sperm donors and the repercussions.
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on 11 July 2013
Really enjoyed this book, one of Lisa Jewell's best! Couldn't wait to see what happened to everyone and how the story unfolded. Highly recommended!
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on 27 April 2017
5 star read
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on 23 January 2013
I loved all of Lisa Jewell's books I read, by this is by far my favourite so far. It has been likened to David Nicholls' "One Day", a novel I also enjoyed, but for me this book is better. While Nicholls' was a clever concept and a nicely told love story, in Jewell's book there is a deeper message to be found. Yes, there is a romance, which is never saccharine sweet - a point I always enjoyed in Lisa's style - but at the core of the book is the theme of "belonging". Lydia, Robyn and Dean are tied by an invisible link that runs in their blood, a link that will bring them together in extraordinary circumstances. All three are seeking their roots, for different reasons. What they will find is that "belonging" is more than sharing genes, that the connections that we make in life - family, friendship, love - define us as much as our DNA, if not more.

The book is beautifully written. I always liked Lisa Jewell's style, but here she has moved up a gear. Once again she is able to spin different narrative threads and bring them all together to form a rich tapestry of characters, events and emotions. The characters are all well depicted and it's easy to empathize with their feelings and the situations they find themselves in.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves well crafted stories with a positive message about life and its many surprises. It's a novel I will read again and again!
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on 1 June 2011
I have been reading and recommending Lisa Jewell's books since 1999, and although my main reading choices are History and Science Fiction I genuinely enjoy a good story regardless of the genre. Lisa Jewell's books have never failed to entertain and to keep me totally gripped and emotionally involved. Lisa's latest book - The Making of Us is no exception.

This is a really good read, of various families and characters that come together because of one common factor - their unknown donor father. Each character has his or her issues, difficulties and lives and each back story/ section could be a good book in its self however their combination is brilliant and believable.

I have read a lot over the years and some story plot lines are predictable in other writers, and I thought I had detected some twists and was "cleverly" predicting various endings/outcomes however I got them all wrong. I couldn't put this down and quickly read it over the weekend, I needed to know how things turned out.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good read, and please spread the word. I really feel that Lisa Jewell's work really deserves a much wider audience. I would describe her as one of the best modern novelists of our time, a great story teller who has impressed again and again a reader who normally sticks with Bernard Cornwell, Stephen King and the like!
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on 16 May 2011
I am a huge Lisa Jewell fan and have loved all of her books so you can imagine how excited I was to receive a review copy of her latest one. I was a little worried when it arrived though as it had a quote on the back from The Bookseller saying that Lisa Jewell had moved into David Nicholl's territory. Don't get me wrong, I loved One Day by David Nicholls but I feel that Lisa Jewell has a very particular writing style and I was worried that this would have disappeared. I shouldn't have got so stressed though as this book is fabulous and the writer's poignant and witty style was better than ever.
The idea behind the book is just brilliant and Lisa Jewell showed how much research she had done by it all being completely believable and realistic.
I fell in love with all of the characters, Daniel, Lydia, Dean and Robyn. It was almost like getting four books for the price of one as they all have their own stories and backgrounds and I loved getting to know them all.
Lydia is extremely successful and still very young. She is adapting to the new wealth and lifestyle that her success has given her but she still has many questions from the past. She receives an envelope from an anonymous sender and learns that her father was a sperm donor rather than the man who had brought her up. Rather than feeling anger or sadness, it seems that Lydia is almost relieved as it makes certain parts of her past make sense, almost like a weight has been lifted.
Dean is younger than Lydia and has known the true identity of his father for three years. His life is all over the place and he is pushing away everybody that cares for him. A tiny part of him wonders what his siblings are like, are they in as much of a mess as him or would they hold some answers to him sorting his life out?
Robyn is the youngest at 18 and has always know about her father. She is training to be a doctor, the same as her father. On her eighteenth, Robyn's loving parents give her all the information she needs to make contact with her siblings and her real father. At first she is reluctant but then she realises the importance of meeting these people; by knowing them then maybe she will understand a little more about herself.
Daniel is the man who ties these children together, a man they have never met and a man who is running out of time. After revealing his life-long secret to his new friend Maggie, she sets out to find his children and bring them to him before it is too late.
The Making Of Us is a beautiful, poignant book. As I said, I fell in love with each character and only wanted the best for them all. Lisa Jewell has the incredible knack of telling it like it is, she does not give you a happy ending just for the sake of it. The way in which she brought the characters together was brilliant and very realistic. I was really moved by the individual stories of the characters and the ways in which they fitted together as though they had always felt that something was missing.
I urge you to read The Making Of Us and any of Lisa Jewell's other books. She is a fantastic author whose writing I never tire of.
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on 14 November 2011
This book made me cry. For the last 70 or so pages, I sobbed my little heart out. I literally could not see the words on the pages. I finished the novel and wanted to hug it to my chest. It's safe to say I loved this book a lot.

It follows the stories of Lydia, Dean and Robyn, three people who, unbeknownst to them, share the same father - each of their mothers had become pregnant through artificial insemination and a mysterious French doctor, Daniel, was the donor. The story is told through alternating POVs of the three siblings and also Maggie, Daniel's friend. I have a fondness for novels told through alternating POVs. I like to know about the thoughts of all of the characters, their hopes, wishes and flaws. And I learned those things about the characters here. Both Lydia and Dean struggle to connect to people and Robyn feels guilty about not remembering much about her half sisters, who both died when she was young.

What I particularly like about Jewell's writing is the fact that she doesn't feel the need to bombard you with tons of information all at once. She is quite content to show the characters pasts slowly throughout the story. We, as readers, discover things about Lydia, Dean and Robyn as they do. Also, Jewell doesn't rush the meeting of the siblings, which seemed like the right thing to do to me as, in real life, it's unlikely that three strangers who may share some genetic information would rush into an initial meeting. She dealt with the turmoil and indecision that these characters in a realistic manner.

I don't really feel like I'm doing this novel justice. It's complex and to write about it in great detail would give away the plot. Like I said above, I enjoyed this book a lot and it is definitely one of Lisa Jewell's best. It was emotional and packed full of story. As ever, I look forward to her next one.
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