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After the Party
- By: Cressida Connolly
- Narrated by: Kristin Atherton
- Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
It is the summer of 1938 and Phyllis Forrester has returned to England after years abroad. Moving into her sister's grand country house, she soon finds herself entangled in a new world of idealistic beliefs and seemingly innocent friendships. Fevered talk of another war infiltrates their small, privileged circle, giving way to a thrilling solution: a great and charismatic leader, who will restore England to its former glory. At a party hosted by her new friends, Phyllis lets down her guard for a single moment, with devastating consequences.
- By Rochelle on 24-09-18
I’m not sure that Phyllis Forrester truly recognises what led to her incarceration, nor does she repent it.
To be honest I’m not sure I properly understand it either. I’m not familiar with this part of British history which likely has some bearing on that, on the other hand I don’t think any specific knowledge is necessary to enjoy this book.
Phyllis’ story has two perspectives of narration: one, her older self, the second, that of the person she is telling her story to, who has presumably interviewed others & explored the events & history themselves. There are chapters told in first person & others in 3rd person with a broader perspective, as if a written history.
It’s an extraordinary & a very subtle story. In many ways Phyllis is a sideline for the main events, after all, World War II is brewing. But it is Phyllis’ ordinariness that makes her story interesting. Had she been a more influential character she may have been a less sympathetic one.
What I can’t decide is whether Phyllis was truly as naive as her narrative suggests, or whether that’s a pretense to create a more favourable personal history. I suspect she really was naive, but she seems to have overlooked an awful lot.
I like to understand what I’m reading in broader context so I did turn to Wikipedia for additional information on Defence Regulation 18B & on Oswald Mosley, which was enlightening.
I absolutely loved Cressida Connolly’s writing. It’s subtle & gorgeous, well matched to the story with the occasional
& most delightful surprises. Beautiful.
Kristin Atherton was absolutely perfect in her performance at all points. It’s an excellent quality production too.
I picked this up on a whim, knowing nothing about it & not being a usual fan of historical fiction. I highly recommend this for anyone whose interest strays into British history, especially of civilians during WWII, & of right wing politics. I’d also recommend to anyone who just enjoys a quiet, thoroughly enthralling read.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
The God of Small Things
- By: Arundhati Roy
- Narrated by: Aysha Kala
- Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, The God of Small Things tells the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Amongst the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother's factory, they try to craft a childhood for themselves amidst what constitutes their family - their lonely, lovely mother; their beloved uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist and bottom pincher); and their avowed enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand-aunt).
- By Rochelle on 28-01-17
It has been a long wait. Twenty years after the print publication of “The God of Small Things”, and with 6 months until the planned release of Arundhati Roy’s second novel, “The Ministry of Happiness” it is a great joy to finally have an unabridged audio edition of “The God of Small Things” available.
Roy’s novel grows slowly, a piece at a time. The further into the story we get the more we begin to understand what has gone before - how earlier information fits into the new pieces. From a small shoot the novel grows into something very large, where events will irreversibly affect many lives.
The novel won the 1997 Man Booker Prize and I expect that it was both the captivating story and the beautiful prose that made it stand out. To me both were absolutely magical.
Aysha Kala’s narration is, for the most part, wonderful. There are minor distractions, one word I think she may have misread, a brief slip of an accent and there are a couple of glitches in the recording toward the end of the book.
Overall I think a book of this stature deserved better treatment. I am so grateful it is available unabridged in audio that I am happy to overlook minor flaws in the production.
If you’ve wondered about the book & are considering spending a credit on it, do. It’s one of a kind - at least until the release of “The Ministry of Happiness”.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful