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Summary

The Instant Sunday Times Best Seller

From the author of When God Was a Rabbit and Tin Man, Still Life is a big-hearted story of people brought together by love, war, art and the ghost of E.M. Forster. 

1944, in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening.

Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier; Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the wreckage and relive memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view.

Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses’ mind that will shape the trajectory of his life - and of those who love him - for the next four decades.

Moving from the Tuscan Hills and piazzas of Florence, to the smog of London’s East End, Still Life is a sweeping, joyful novel about beauty, love, family and fate.

©2021 Sarah Winman (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Sheer joy." (Graham Norton, author of Home Stretch)

"A bear-hug of a book." (Rachel Joyce, author of Miss Benson’s Beetle)

"Utterly beautiful...filled with hope." (Joanna Cannon, author of Three Things About Elsie)

What listeners say about Still Life

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  • Overall
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A gentle story of love and Florence

A lovely story about love and the beauty of Florence and its ability to stir the passions. A touch of A Room With A View woven in

6 people found this helpful

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Enchanting book

I loved the book . Utter joy,.Florence, beauty, wine, love and friendship. All that matters

1 person found this helpful

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Deliciously evocative

Perfectly imperfect characters that make you laugh and cry. A richly told story that makes me want to immediately fly to Florence and see it again, but through the eyes of these much loved characters. I will miss them!

1 person found this helpful

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Sarah Winnman feeds my soul

A beautifully written story of time and life and love. Rich descriptions of Florence makes you feel like you are there, feeling the warm sun on your skin. Like all her novels the characters become like old friends and you don’t want the story to end because you know you will miss them. I love the way Winnman writes her words make my heart grow a little bigger.

1 person found this helpful

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The absolute best book I have read in a long time.

I am very glad I chose the audible version of the book as boy did Sarah Winman know how to play her characters. This book is a must for art lovers, it's filled to the brim with culture and then some! Her characters were just amazing, so incredibly real. This is the first book that I have turned back and started it all over again in a very long time. Sarah you have Marvellous Ways with your penmanship.
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21/06/21
I have just finished this book for a second time. I am so tempted to reread again. I am so invested in the characters I find myself wanting to plea for a follow up!

1 person found this helpful

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Delightful

Fascinating story superbly told, unexpected twists and turns hold your attention from beginning to end.

1 person found this helpful

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Simply awesome

This is a stunner of a book, Everything about it is beautiful. A cast of very different characters who come together to form a family built on love, respect and trust. Books this special are few and far between, a true masterpiece.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful, fun, meaningful….

I have loved this book! And Sarah reading it herself is a real treat! So often author’s reading their own work doesn’t quite work, but this was perfectly performed - accents, character, emotions… spot on! Made it so much more enjoyable. I fell in love with characters and Italy and will definitely revisit this book in the future!

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Incredible writing

Loved Still Life, incredible characters you want to spend time with and you are so sorry to leave. It’s a book that stays with you. Perfect.
In my top 2 books this year ♥️

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Beautiful book, brilliantly read

I was gripped by this from the beginning. A wonderful story, and likeable characters. Cressy was a favourite in particualar. Nothing overly complicated or outlandish, but excellent observations of people and life.