2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Love like you've never read it before....,
This review is from: A Lifetime Burning (Paperback)
As others have said, on finishing this novel I did indeed turn back to the beginning. It's almost a compulsion to do so. It's a very evocative story that will make you feel and feel and you'll keep feeling (and thinking) after it's finished. The subject matter is very sensitive and yet it's a phenomenon that is far more common than people would have you believe and all praise to Linda Gillard for tackling it and showing it in such a sympathetic light. Illicit love, depression, dark family secrets that bind the family, a never ending spiral where the binds may never be broken...oh, what price keeping those skeletons in the closet?!
Character wise, they are realistic and you can understand why each acts as they do even though you can't always agree with it, which makes for many conflicting emotions whilst you read. They are without doubt, for the most part, selfish and deeply troubled but my overriding feelings were for Flora, for whom I felt such sorrow and sympathy; poor Flora who wanted to be good but by the deeds of others never managed to succeed and so we see a spiralling devastation that haunts the story as does Flora herself.
Very cleverly written in third person, flitting through the years which doesn't give the disjointed appearance it maybe ought to, but in fact gives us a far more intense view into the lives and events that shaped the family; then we have excerpts by Flora herself, giving a fuller picture where we can hear the heartache in her voice and we come to understand the characters more, even if we don't fully sympathise with them.
I could sympathise that the family were in a never ending history of illicit love but the way they dealt with it made me want to shout at the characters sometimes and I did feel that Flora was, unfairly, a scapegoat.
I can promise that you will come out of reading this book feeling wretched and moved and it will stay with you.
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Initial post: 25 Apr 2013, 15:11:06 BST
Thank you for this very detailed review. I'm the author. I really appreciate the time and trouble you put into this and I'm thrilled you "got" my book so perfectly. Some readers dislike Flora, but my view is, for all her many faults, she was a tragic victim.
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