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3.3 out of 5 stars
22
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 16 July 2005
As a great fan of Emily Barr imagine my disappointment to realise this book is Atlantic Shift. What is the point of this? Is it so the author can make a bit more money. Notice how amazon doesn't give a synopsis of the book either. If they did then everyone would know! Its a conspiracy! Oh and dont forget that we have to pay P&P for it to be delivered then the P&P to return and then more P&P to order another one. A very expensive book in the end. Still a great book though if you haven't read Atlantic Shift. Slowly going off this author now though as the same thing happended to me with Cuba and Cuban Heels.
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on 5 July 2005
I ordered this, as I am one of those who will buy anything from the wonderful Emily Barr without reading the blurb. How disappointed was I as I opened the box to realise that Solo is actually Atlantic Shift by another name. If you want everything ever published by Emily Barr, go ahead, otherwise, either Atlantic Shift or Solo. Either way you wont be disappointed - Great Book.
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on 30 May 2007
I thought this was a brilliant book and I thought the plot and subplots were very well thought out. I was also really pleased that the ending was so good and I didn't find it abrupt at all. I don't mind the fact that it ended happily, as it's nice to feel good sometimes! I found the book very well balanced as it was light in parts and very emotional in others. The emotional parts were so convincing that they even made me cry at times!

I disagree with the reader who says that the changing of the name "Elizabeth" to "Darcey" was silly. In fact, I found it made the story better as it is exactly the kind of thing that I could imagine happening and made me feel more sorry for Evie that her daughter's name had been changed in such a way.

I started off not particularly liking Evie either, but like most bad people she also had a good side and the fact that she had her flaws made the book all the more convincing in my opinion.

I thought the characters were good, even those we didn't get to know so well, as they just gave a change from constantly reading about the main characters in the book. They also made it all the more realistic, as we don't get to know everyone well in real life either!

I highly recommend Atlantic Shift and will definitely be reading more by this author.
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on 15 March 2006
What a deeply silly book. I laughed out loud for all the wrong reasons. Barr's previous works have been kind of 'chick lit thrillers' in that they are very plot driven, with delicious twists and reveals that keep the reader's unblinking interest.
But Atlantic Shift is just plotting gone mad. Far too much happens, and none of it is described in any depth at all. Our main character is a total cow one minute, and the next she's so sweet, she's forming deep relationships with people as random as her best friends fertility doctor.
There are far too many characters (her flatmates' parents? Why would we care??) and none of them ever really make it up off the page.
The dialogue is jarringly bad, with all of the characters delivering information in the style of a cheap soap opera. A character will use silly intensifiers such as 'enormously pretty' and then on the next page another character will use the same word.
The books premise isn't anything like what you are led to expect from the blurb, and the whole classical musician stuff seems silly and made-up.
There are so many plot lines all careering along so quickly that the ending is basically a car crash of an 'epilogue' that offers zero insight into why anybody's character acted in the way they did.
And how did Evie manage to be such a cow, when both her sets of parents are so sympathetic? And how did she manage to go 15 years without seeing her father and her step mum, when they are so loving and nice?
And why did Jack fly across the Atlantic, only to cheerfully walk away after a five minute conversation that could have been conducted by telephone? Silly, silly, silly.
This book encompasses issues including celebrity, music, stalkers, infertility, underage pregnancy, alcoholism, suicide, stalking, domestic violence, adoption, drink driving, tabloid journalism and god knows what else. It's a big messy hotch potch in which minor characters become major with no explanation, and major characters drop off the page in similar fashion.
I read it to the end to see if it would get any better but it didn't.
Did Emily Barr, the author of Baggage, actually write this nonsense? I struggle to comprehend it.
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on 27 November 2009
I totally agree with the reviewers who asked the question "did Emily Barr write this one?" I too bought it because I had really enjoyed her other novels but this one was dreadful.

I found the characters totally unbelievable and the "plot" ludicrous.

The plot hinges on the "terrible secret" that Evie has been hiding from the world for 15 years. Are we really supposed to believe that anyone in the mid-nineties would be even slightly worried about such a "secret" getting out let alone mortified to the extent she didnt even tell her husband of 8 years?

When the perpetrator of the poison pen letters is revealed, the reason given for the motivation for sending the letters is even more preposterous.

I dont want to give away the "plot" in case anyone still wants to read this nonsense but as other reviewers have said - please don't be put off reading other Emily Barr novels - I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them so far except this one.
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on 14 March 2010
I am a big fan of Emily Barr - some may call it an obsession. I started reading her books about 6 months ago and have barely read anything from another author since, I just enjoy her books so much. I always think that Barr builds up the main characters so that you can see beyond the initial facade that they show the world - people have said on here that Evie Silverman changes too much, but obviously she is quite messed up at the start of the book and desperate for attention. However, by the end of the story I really sympathised with her as her true character started to show and was glad that the book ended the way it did.

Not my favourite of her books (if you haven't read Backpack or Plan B yet then you MUST) but a solid page turner with interesting subject material.
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A very strange novel about a popular cellist called Eva (a sort of mixture of Vanessa Mae, Nigel Kennedy and Kathryn Jenkins) who suddenly for no apparent reason ditches her loving husband and runs away to New York, to face a Dark Secret from her past.

I found just about everything about this book unconvincing. The music side didn't work - a girl would not be picked out of a music college orchestra to be a 'crossover poster girl' just because she wore a tight skirt with a slit in it, and someone who'd been in the crossover world would not find it possible to glide back into mainstream chamber music. Barr didn't work the music theme into the novel at all well - she clearly knows something about classical music, but not enough to make it a major theme in her book. The Big Secret relied on Eva having behaved like a total idiot as a teenager (which for such a sassy girl seemed improbable) and Barr never explained clearly why Eva had suddenly decided to change her life, after years with the kindly Jack. Most of the characters were pretty unmemorable, and the 'stalker' aspect of the plot plain silly. Eva, as another reviewer has noted, was an unbelievable character, at one moment horrible, arrogant and silly, at another vulnerable and sweet. Her relationship with both sets of parents was a mystery to me. There were some nice descriptions of New York and Bristol, and Barr had a few ingenious ideas about plot, but on the whole I got the impression that this was a book that had been rushed out without much thought.

I am enjoying another of Barr's books at the moment, so she clearly can write well, but this one didn't work for me in any way.
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on 10 March 2014
I rarely return books for a refund but I'm afraid £3.95 is way too much to pay for this load of tosh. I bought it assuming it would come up to the standard of her other books - which while sometimes a little disappointing at least are generally well written and plotted. This starts out well - I guess when it was written in the early noughties the celebrity culture was in full flow - and the theme - celebrity musician ditches her husband - was no doubt inspired by tabloid stories of real life wannabees ditching their non-celebrity other halves once they had reached the dizzy heights of Hello/OK magazine stardom. That might have been quite an interesting theme for a novel, but sadly the only thing that I cared about - the relationship between Evie and Jack - is more or less ditched in favour of numerous sub plots involving minor characters, including themes such as infertility/adoption/alcoholism/stalking/domestic violence which really deserve a whole book to themselves rather than being relegated to some supporting character.

Many of the things that happen strain credibility - would a rich celebrity really move into a flatshare with a stranger? Would an eminent successful doctor really risk his reputation by passing on confidential information to a woman he'd only just met? This is clumsy amateurish writing where you can actually see the wheels of the plot devices turning as you read and - as I think another reviewer mentioned - the conversations become increasing clunky sounding as the book progresses. I think EB knew she had a turkey on her hands and was finding it hard to maintain the enthusiasm to go on.

The central character Evie didn't become any more sympathetic to me even once I knew her big secret - she has two lovely supportive families, kind and caring friends/ she had a massively lucky career break - yet she feels entitled to treat other people like dirt because she did something stupid as a teenager and was betrayed by her best friend. I couldn't root for her to have a happy ending, I'm afraid, I'd rather have seen her get her comeuppance!
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on 15 December 2007
Having read 'Cuban Heels' and 'Baggage', I chose this because of the author. And whilst this is good, it felt a lot `fluffier' than her previous work.

The story is about Evie, a British cellist who is more famous for her looks than her musical ability. On the night of a major performance, she dumps her husband and embarks on single life, moving in with another girl and sleeping with reality popstars. So far so humdrum.

Then, she starts getting poison pen letters, runs off to New York where her best mate is having fertility treatment. This is where the pace picks up and it all starts to get interesting. Evie has secrets, which come tripping out as people from her past catch up with her and she catches up with them.

The last part of the book, feels a bit rushed, and although there are a few too many elements for one novel (it could have been way simpler) and I wasn't massively keen on the epilogue, where all loose ends are tied up all too comfortably, Atlantic Shift is a bit of fun that, due to the knowing tone throughout, is one step up from chick lit.
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on 26 November 2009
I'm a big fan of Emily Barr, but think that Atlantic Shift was pretty Hit or Miss. Yes, there were too many characters rattling along together, and Jack - the dumped husband - was far too nice, and far too unrealistic. Evie had issues, but it was difficult to feel sympathy for her. The numerous sub-plots kept it hurtling along at a rapid pace, enough to keep the interest levels engaged.

I was baffled by the ending. The last line threw me... what was that all about?!?

If this is the first of Emily Barr's books that you've read, please look at some of her others - you will be delighted!
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