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Unfinished Portrait

A Mary Westmacott Novel
Narrated by: Lewis Hancock
Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)
Regular price: £11.99
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Summary

A newly reissued edition of an Agatha Christie - writing as Mary Westmacott - 'Crime of the Heart' novel about a woman on the verge of suicide. "In Celia we have more nearly than anywhere else a portrait of Agatha." (Max Mallowan)

Bereft of the three people she has held most dear - her mother, her husband and her daughter - Celia is on the verge of suicide. Then one night on an exotic island she meets Larraby, a successful portrait painter, and through a long night of talk reveals how she is afraid to commit herself to a second chance of happiness with another person, yet is not brave enough to face life alone. Can Larraby help Celia come to terms with the past or will they part, her outcome still uncertain?

©2011 Agatha Christie (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

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Unexpectedly moving

This is not a crime novel, although written by Agatha Christie. The opening is very arresting when the narrator stops a woman from committing suicide. The rest of the book is made up of the events that led her to this point, going right back to her childhood.

The early parts could have been tiresome being from her point of view as a child but Agatha Christie's writing is so engaging that it worked.

I have read Laura Wilson's biography of Christie and was sceptical at her technique of treating the books of Mary Westmacott as though they give facts about Christie's life. I still am sceptical but the story line here is so close to some of what is known about her that I can see that this is Christie working through events in her life and trying to make sense of them. I am still not sure I would treat the plot as proven facts but I can see the connection. It was that which made the story so interesting.

I enjoyed it very much.