Once it had been the great forest of Lythe--a vast and impenetrable thicket of green. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor, visited once by the great Gloriana herself. But over the centuries, the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes have dwindled, too; now they live in Arden, at the end of Hawthorne Close, and are hardly a family at all.
But Isobel Fairfax, who drops into pockets of time and out again, knows about the past. She is 16 and waiting for the return of her mother--the thin, dangerous Eliza, with her scent of nicotine, Arpège, and sex, whose disappearance is part of the mystery that still remains at the heart of the forest.
©1997 Kate Atkinson (P)2014 AudioGo Ltd. Published by Random House Audiobooks
What a wonderful book! I have been completely engrossed in it for about 10 days. Kate Atkinson is a brilliant writer, and this is the latest of several of hers that I have read. The way she weaves her story and characters is absolutely mesmerising, I have no idea how she keeps all the threads together. The icing on the cake with this book is that it was beautifully read by Susan Jameson. Altogether a wonderful experience.
The initial plot seems a bit like her first novel but with less focus. By the end more and more characters are added and I found myself lost in a careering plot. I suspect it was me not seeing the underlying subtlety but ai saw no reason the narrator changes from first person to third person and back again. At the end things seem summed up quickly and unsatisfactorily. A rather frustrating listening experience with bursts of vivid entertainment.
loved this exquisitely written tale of loves, lives, truths and secrets all spun in a web of parallel reality. The narrator was just fantastic with a stunning array of accents. Kate Atkinson's story telling is unique, inventive and dazzlingly intelligent.
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