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Learning To Swim

Learning To Swim

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Price: £4.995
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Hotjar sets this cookie to know whether a user is included in the data sampling defined by the site's pageview limit. Some of the experiences of working for an eccentric, independent publisher in the pre-digital era found their way into her novel The Editor's Wife (Century, 2007). Publication dates are subject to change (although this is an extremely uncommon occurrence overall). Abigail, when we meet her, is a cellist in an established orchestra and it is not until she attends an after show party and is introduced to Marcus Radley that we start to get a glimpse into the life of this young woman.

One thing I didn't love was the excessive dramatism and tragedy; I know what their goal was but I don't think it was necessary to go to such lengths.

She has since written eight further novels, including Learning to Swim (Century 1998) which won the Romantic Novelists’ Association best novel award and was adapted as a Radio 4 play, and In a Good Light (Century 2004) which was longlisted for the Whitbread best novel prize.

On the other hand certain episodes seemed unlikely to me, even for the Radleys, in particular the scene which causes Rad to be so angry with Abigail. And I found it strange that she started spending all her time with the Radleys, not to mention the fact that she never spoke to Abigail again after she was broken-hearted and instead started going out with Rad all by herself.

Just finishing up an inadvertent rereading of this after 20 or so years, and had no recollection of it at all until I reached a line on page 323 - “She wears so much face powder nowadays it’s a bit like kissing a bap” - and I remembered having to look up what a bap was and appreciating the tactile impact of that image. I was surprised when I found out this book had originally been published in 1998 as it felt like it could have been written this year - always the sign of a good read! I bought this because it came up on the recommendations and after reading the blurb I thought I'd give it a go. The smart wit and brilliant characters remind me a little of Kate Atkinson but comparisons are in some ways unfair because this author has her own unique voice and style and should be recognised in her own right, which now after the success of Small Pleasures I hope and think she is.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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