About writing, books, films, travel, the garden and village life in Hampshire,England, aka Jane Austen country
Sunday, 9 January 2011
The Hand that First Held Mine
The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
The fifth book from the award-winning author of 'After You’d Gone' is another delight, weaving together the stories of two women who have never met but whose destinies are linked by secrets, deception and love. Maggie’s skill is to draw the reader into her characters’ lives, while gradually revealing the relationship that binds them. A compelling portrait of motherhood
Two intertwined strands to this novel, a ‘past affecting the present’ narrative. Absolutely loved the storyline about the 1950s-60s heroine Lexie who has unsuitable affairs and becomes a famous journalist. The modern heroine, a Finn married to an Englishman, was well drawn but she’s a new mother and her story focuses on the joys and problems of a new baby, and how this affect both parents. When I read it I kept thinking yes, brilliant, that’s how new babies are and that’s how an isolated mother would feel. But ultimately newborns are mostly only fascinating to their parents and I felt Elina’s story was not as absorbing as Lexie’s. Obviously the Costa judges must disagree as the book has won the Best Novel prize 2010.
Should you read it? Yes, do please, as Maggie O’Farrell is a brilliant lyrical writer, but it’s probably not a book for chaps. Here is a Guardian review.
Author of POND LANE AND PARIS (nominated for the RNA Foster Grant award), AN OLD-FASHIONED ARRANGEMENT, PARIS IMPERFECT,
TROPICAL CONNECTIONS, TROPICAL SHADOWS ------------------- I've lived all over the world - Germany, Thailand, Australia, Greece, Switzerland and France, but now I'm back home in a small Hampshire village.