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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil is in the Detail, 25 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Ophelia in Pieces (Paperback)
The characters in this book spring from the pages, and in fact they do not seem to be fictional creations at all. This does not mean to say that they seem like portraits of real people, however, because that hardly ever translates into verisimilitude in the context of fiction. Although it is interesting to see the legal profession from the inside, this is only incidental to this novel's success; the purpose of fiction is to show us that any walk of life can be utterly fascinating when one is immersed in it, and cares about the people involved. That is the achievement here, because although what Miss Jacob is describing could be considered a typical experience of a middle class well-educated women in London of a certain age, she has successfully avoided these and all other cliches. For example, it is interesting how the break up of the marriage is not intentional on the part of anyone, and yet it happens very decisively, which is very poignant and very realistic, showing an essential fragility in human relations that is often overlooked. The author has a light touch, and that is her true gift. It allows the reader's imagination to seep into the crevices of the narrative. Ophelia is so eager to get to that glass of white wine in the evening: one feels this, one is not told. This book is not about the plot, but about the characterisation and that is what stays with you when the book is finished, and it is what keeps you interested to the end. This is a talent in the writer that can be applied to any story and that is what makes this such a promising first book. It is exciting to pick up on a story like this right from the beginning, and now the only question is what is she -- Miss Jacob -- going to do next.
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Location: London

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