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Still Life – A S Byatt

Still Life – A S Byatt

After listening to The Virgin in the Garden I was keen to continue this series and downloaded this one from Borrowbox.

Here’s the blurb …

From the author of The New York Times best seller Possession , comes a highly acclaimed novel which captures in brilliant detail the life of one extended English family-and illuminates the choices they must make between domesticity and ambition, life and art.

Stephanie Potter gives up a promising academic career to marry Daniel Orton, while her sister, Frederica, enters Cambridge, and her brother, Marcus, begins recovering from a nervous breakdown

This one is a bit sadder than the first – Byatt does write grief well, but it still has all the lovely art and literature references. And I love how we get snippets from several characters’s view points – Alexander, Stephanie, Marcus and, of course, Frederica.

I am looking forward to the next one Babel Tower, which is also on Borrowbox.

A review

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Filed under 4, Fiction, Recommended, Serious

Still Life – Sarah Winman

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Still Life – Sarah Winman

I have read Tinman and When God Was A Rabbit and enjoyed both (for some reason I haven’t blogged about them), so I was keen to read this one and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I think this is her best novel yet.

Here’s the blurb

Tuscany, 1944: As Allied troops advance and bombs fall around deserted villages, a young English soldier, Ulysses Temper, finds himself in the wine cellar of a deserted villa. There, he has a chance encounter with Evelyn Skinner, a middle-aged art historian who has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and recall long-forgotten memories of her own youth. In each other, Ulysses and Evelyn find a kindred spirit amongst the rubble of war-torn Italy, and set off on a course of events that will shape Ulysses’s life for the next four decades.

As Ulysses returns home to London, reimmersing himself in his crew at The Stoat and Parrot — a motley mix of pub crawlers and eccentrics — he carries his time in Italy with him. And when an unexpected inheritance brings him back to where it all began, Ulysses knows better than to tempt fate, and returns to the Tuscan hills.

With beautiful prose, extraordinary tenderness, and bursts of humor and light, Still Life is a sweeping portrait of unforgettable individuals who come together to make a family, and a richly drawn celebration of beauty and love in all its forms.

It was a generous, kind, funny and interesting story. The characters were kind to each other.

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Filed under 5, Fiction, Recommended