Are you a Lauren Kate fan? Do you reside in Australia ? Then this competition is for you.
So beautiful – you are an amazing poet Heli.
I have to share my joy with you; last night 35 Letters win Best Biography at Australian Teachers of Media IPAF ATOM Awards 2014 !
A moving story with characters you will connect with.
Hodder & Stoughton
‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’
‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’
Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.
He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.
So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.
The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.
What could possibly go wrong?
This is a narrative that can be easily and enjoyably read for the pleasure of the journey itself; of discovering the characters and their failings and their triumphs as they journey through life’s ups and downs. David Nicholls has a wonderful ability to write stream of consciousness prose and great characters and realistic dialogue.
Give this narrative a little more thought and head space and you will discover many revelations regarding relationships, family, children, love and death and building bridges. For me though the stand out message was about gratefulness. Being grateful that someone finds you attractive and wants to spend time with you is not the best way begin any emotional transaction or indeed build any type of relationship on. It is certainly not the basis for marriage regardless of how much one party loves the other. Douglas has low self-confidence and cannot believe that someone like Connie could enjoy his company, love him and agree to marry him. Lesson number two; if you don’t love yourself how can you expect anyone else too? Douglas always tries to please and placate (as you can probably tell I find myself disliking Connie and her cavalier attitude; great work David Nicholls is making me believe in these characters, for the empathy I felt, for the insightful relationship guidance you provide on this journey). And I liked that you conclude the narrative with a glimmer of optimism for the future.
This is a great read, one that I think will particularly suit book clubs who will find many issues, many behaviours, conversations and attitudes to discuss and debate.
Moving, astute with a subtleness that belies the expert analysis of the human condition.
Too Much Happiness
Ten superb new stories by one of our most beloved and admired writers—the winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize.
In the first story a young wife and mother receives release from the unbearable pain of losing her three children from a most surprising source. In another, a young woman, in the aftermath of an unusual and humiliating seduction, reacts in a clever if less-than-admirable fashion. Other stories uncover the “deep-holes” in a marriage, the unsuspected cruelty of children, and how a boy’s disfigured face provides both the good things in his life and the bad. And in the long title story, we accompany Sophia Kovalevsky—a late-nineteenth-century Russian émigré and mathematician—on a winter journey that takes her from the Riviera, where she visits her lover, to Paris, Germany, and, Denmark, where she has a fateful meeting with a local doctor, and finally to Sweden, where she teaches at the only university in Europe willing to employ a female mathematician.
With clarity and ease, Alice Munro once again renders complex, difficult events and emotions into stories that shed light on the unpredictable ways in which men and women accommodate and often transcend what happens in their lives.
Too Much Happiness is a compelling, provocative—even daring—collection.
These short stories will do many things; they will move you, they will make you think and re think your own assumptions and beliefs and in some you will find optimism and some you will find human failings subtly revealed in what at first appears to be a simple recounting of events or life’s history. These short stories will surprise you.
In particular I thought the first story, Dimensions was a powerful and emotive read with a bleakness that tugged at my heart. I did however think that the villain in the piece was let off too lightly by this author – an insanity verdict to my mind excused the behaviour; the crime was inexcusable. I did however enjoy the ending, the small ray of optimism that shone through.
Something that did indeed surprise me was Child’s Play, what a revelation! (No spoilers here, you need to buy the book).
Alice Munro writes with an ease and a simplicity that belies the deep psychological understanding she has of the human condition; of the foibles and failings that make us human. These short stories will make you think, will open your eyes.
We are dog/house sitting. Here are Bob and Star looking very relaxed:)