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June 16, 2008

Comments

amy

Karen,

I read both, and I did end up liking the book more than the short story. Like you, I was sort of stunned when I saw how slim the book was, and like you had read such praise about it in many mediums, so I was expecting...more.
After reading the book and thinking about it, I think their argument was understandable and found the consequences rather harsh, but believable. I think the entire novel did a great job of reflecting that period of time, where England was poised on the brink of changing times but not quite yet there, and how the repression of that time just before could lead to so many misunderstandings and unspoken expectations. Had they met just 5 years later, I think their entire courtship and marriage would have been far different. If only they had societal and generational permission to TALK to one another! But those kind of conversations couldn't and wouldn't take place, not then.

The writing is incredible, very descriptive and evocative of place and person and emotion. I can picture them and their room, the meal (bad as it was) and the beach.

I felt sad for them and grateful to live in a time when conversations about such things are acceptable.

I'm reading Olive Kittridge now, another book that has been heavily reviewed and praised, and I'm truly enjoying it.

Lisa

Started this book and just couldn't get into it---didn't grab me and after a while, I just didn't care enough to finish.....

Melanie

I didn't read the short story, even though I'm a New Yorker subscriber. I listened to the novella as an audiobook, read by the author, and found it to be very well done. I echo Amy above in her review--I found it very evocative of that time and place, and oh so poignant.

raych

I thought this book was the sweetest, saddest thing I've read in ages. I mean, they could have been so happy, but then they couldn't...and she almost, but then she didn't...and he...and the argument at the end was spot-on for me. All that taking the low road because you assume the other person'll take the high road, or that you'll have a second chance, and before long it's gone too far for reconciliation and it's all over, when a slightly different reaction here or there could have changed the whole course of events! *sob* alas.

Di

It's on my shelf. I think I started it and it didn't grab me. Is it a quick enough read that I should read it really quick so that I can give you my feedback?

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