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Customer Review

on 4 July 2003
Just finished this and wanted to share my feelings. I feel as if I have been in a dream while I read it. The combination of detachment, people known only by physical characteristics or their house number, with intense involvement in the little details of people's lives makes for an extraordinary read.
The punctuation style was occasionally annoying, having to re-read speech to check exactly who said what. But overall the style worked, adding to the dreamlike quality. It reminded me a little of Ian McEwan's 'The Cement Garden' - that hot, late summer feeling, with tragedy like a thunderstorm building in the distance.
I enjoyed the anonymity of the characters - no one from the past had a name, until Shahid is named at the moment of crisis, and the man with the damaged hands calls and calls his name, trying to use its power to heal, or at least make the world notice. I wonder what the narrator (anonymous, like the 2nd Mrs de Winter) will call her twins?
Of course the novel has its flaws, but I found it unputdownable, much easier to read than reviews had led me to expect, and I think its little details will stay with me for a long while.
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