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Flatlands

Flatlands

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She does look back (from a good life as a librarian but without family of close associations) and think very tenderly of him -- she tries not to remember their times together too often lest she wear the memories too thin -- and credits him with her ability to see a life with music, art, etc. Mrs Woolf, wife of the manager, is a very celebrated author and, in her own way, more important than Galsworthy. Haunting, atmospheric, it feels like it captures the mood perfectly, what it must have felt like to exist in such chaotic times.

A tender portrait of wartime youth [with] an elegiac, gentle quality, evoking the Wash as “a place between somewhere and nowhere, one of the last wildernesses in England”. This quiet, beautiful book is a new retelling of the classic novella The Snow Goose by the American author Paul Gallico. A haunting and lyrical novel about loneliness and the compensations of the natural world, art and unlikely friendships.Together they explore the wild, beautiful landscape of the Wash, teeming with migrating birds, and nurse an injured goose back to health. I didn't see how the message of that daily, thoughtful, caring/caregiving love was reflected in her life. But those reasons for reading this prove to have little staying power in the end, and by the midway point we're in a wearisome whirlpool of all that's become hackneyed and trite about this period of historical fiction. Plot is less important in this novel as it moves slowly between Freda’s memories as captured in the journal she has been writing.

A classic piece of storytelling' Toby Litt'A haunting and lyrical novel' Maggie Brookes, author of The Prisoner's WifeIn the depths of wartime, a friendship takes wingFreda is a twelve-year-old evacuee from the East End, sent to live with a farming family deep in the lonely landscape of the Fens. Registered as a conscientious objector, he has come to the remote fenlands to labour in the fields, but also to paint and to heal through close communion with the natural world. As the seventy–fifth anniversary celebration of the Dunkirk evacuation approaches, she finds herself flooded by her own memories of that period and she reflects on how her experiences have impacted her throughout her life.

The wounded snow goose is a metaphor, symbolising Philip, Freda, along with a world experiencing the unspeakable misery and despair of war, it speaks of the shoots of light, hope, and possibilities under the darkest and most soul destroying of times.

While the author stays true to the central theme of The Snow Goose, also naming her characters Freda and Philip, (Frith and Philip in Gallico’s novella) Hubbard’s characters are developed with much depth. From the stuffy train we could see gangs of women in the fields dressed in old sun bonnets and aprons, weeding rows of potatoes and stacking bundles of hay. Freda, meanwhile, is a London evacuee of about 12, taken in by an abusive family in the English Fens. A conscientious objector, he is not involved in the war effort and seems more interested in the arts than in the craft of war. For younger bookworms – and nostalgic older ones too – there’s the Slightly Foxed Cubs series, in which we’ve reissued a number of classic nature and historical novels.

Most will not hold a perfect hand in life’s poker game, but serendipitous happenings can propel us forward into our futures if we’re willing to give each other a chance. Philip is an artist and a conscientious objector living in a remote lighthouse on the shores of the Wash. I think this would be an excellent book club choice as well and makes for a great summer read for so many readers when it goes on sale in the US in mid June. Perhaps Hubbard is a genius and deliberately made you feel exactly what it was like to be him by letting you swirl around and around in the same thoughts endlessly but it got a little old when the other character was in immediate danger from her neglectful and abusive situation and had no power or money to change that (both of which he had in small amounts as a middle class, white, adult, male). The story is told by 87 year old Freda, looking back at her life and how her course was changed by her short time with Philip.

Sue Hubbard, also a poet and art critic, tells us in an introduction that the bare bones of her story and the names of her protagonists come from Paul Gallico’s 1940 novella for children, The Snow Goose, so we are primed for the moment when an injured goose will bring these two unlikely characters together.When she finds an injured goose and takes it to the lighthouse where Philip lives, an unlikely friendship develops. Young Freda is last to be picked and finds herself living with a grim-faced and abusive farming family, eking out a bleak existence on what seems like the edge of the world. The cookie also tracks the behavior of the user across the web on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.



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

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