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Learning To Swim

Learning To Swim

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As well as a perceptive, witty look at the pretensions of suburbia, Learning to Swim is a quirky, moving story of friendship and love, peopled with irresistible, unforgettable characters who haunt the reader's mind after the book has ended. I think it help reading this when I was in my thirties, that way you can really empathise with how life turns out for some of the characters. A pointless tragedy and exile to Australia dealt with two of them, while the others managed happy endings. What a carefully constructed and powerfully balanced novel this is: at the end I was descending the same steps I had walked up at the start. I had the sense that Clare Chambers' characters had taken over the plot and then left her in the lurch as to what to do with them.

The Radley's were extraordinary, captivating creatures transplanted from a bohemian corner of North London to outer suburbia, and the young Abigail found herself drawn into their magic circle: the eccentric Frances, her new best friend; Frances' mother, the liberated, headstrong Lexi; and of course the brilliant, beautiful Rad. In the present day section too, there seemed to be more going on than was likely - a motor cycle accident, a fire. When Abigail's friend and fellow musician, Grace, notices the awkwardness of their brief reunion, and later asks Abigail about Rad, Abigail shrugs it off and tells Grace that the whole Radley family were friends of hers but she has now lost contact with them. 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.An intelligent and escapist read - well written and funny" Daily Express "Modern, intelligently observed and highly original" Daily Mail "A spirited account of growing up and falling in love" Good Housekeeping "This delicious novel - is a joy from beginning to end - a perfect novel" Lisa Jewell "Engagingly written" Prima You may also be interested in. I really enjoyed the first half of this book, however I did feel it dragged on a little, and I wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending which felt somewhat anticlimactic. Clare Chambers is a new discovery and I thought the book well written though doubt it would appeal to the average male reader. The party was being given by a girl at school, and in recognition of the shortage of available males we had all been instructed to “bring a boy.

She studied English at Oxford and spent the year after graduating in New Zealand, where she wrote her first novel, Uncertain Terms, published when she was 25. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously. I love how the seemingly mundane moments in the characters lives makes the reader feel they are actually living them .

As an honorary member of the family she is privy to much of their daily life, but some of the intricacies are lost on her. 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). Raised in a very conservative household, only child Abigail lives out a dull life with Mother and Father in suburbia filled with net curtains and clipped lawns. Clare’s writing makes me feel like I am there as the character, and therefore invested in what happens. Perfect holiday reading, but I don't mean by that to disparage the writing or brand it as merely lightweight.

If you are new to this author I strongly recommend "In a Good Light" as well as "Small Pleasures" instead. It starts with a present situation and then goes back in time for most of the book until everything is explained and you get back to where you started. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others.Overall I really enjoyed it and would recommend it if you’re looking for a read that will take you back to navigating teenage friendships and family life.

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! In due course she went on to become a fiction and non-fiction editor there herself, until leaving to raise a family and concentrate on her own writing. You never know what goes on behind closed doors, and never has this been more true than in the story of Abigail Jex (née Onions) and her memories of her childhood friend Frances Radley. 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).I am delighted to see that Audible are going to release some of Clare Chambers' books (including this one) before the end of the month. 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. I am so glad I did, I really enjoyed the story and the way events unfold from the perspective of Abigail, the main character. And then it seemed slightly unbelievable that Abigail would have had so little luck in love between the ages of 18 and 31.



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

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