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Fitzgerald is adept at evoking the atmosphere of late 1960s London with rich period detail but beyond this the book feels slight and inconclusive, meandering along with only the sketchiest plot. I suppose what really tickled was the dynamics between Nenna, the main character and her two potentials. The reader is left to imagine a consequence in which each of these lives moves forward into a new phase, perhaps happy, perhaps less so. Indeed the character who gets the most space is the smallest; the very bright six-year old Tilda shines like the brasses on her mother's barge, and is one of the anchors of this unusual narrative. The characters relationships are altered by the changes in their circumstances, the world of this disparate little community is under threat.

This vital ability may be the feminine counterpart to Nenna's claimed deficiencies-of-gender, such as being unable to fold a map. The residents are very much a community, and yet they have almost nothing in common, other than the fact they are all adrift (even the cat), living in a never-world between land and water - literally, and in a more profound, psychological sense.Since Fitzgerald lived there the boats are no longer restricted to flushing their toilets on a falling tide, and residents and visitors no longer need to clamber from one boat to another.

Most people only set foot on a boat for the purpose of pleasure and so imagine life on a barge to be sheer, uninterrupted delight. On the Battersea Reach of the Thames, a mixed bag of the slightly disreputable, the temporarily lost, and the patently eccentric live on houseboats, rising and falling with the great river’s tides. There is one character who made this book work for me, and it is Nenna’s 6-year old daughter, Tilda.I feel I should be able to learn from this beautiful book, but it suggests diagnosis (which I'd already worked out), but no prescription. I felt like I was on a bus ride eavesdropping on multiple conversations, each interesting and incomplete. What I dislike about Davies’ narration is that he chants; the lines are read with a rhythmic beat that I find unnatural. She constantly finds herself in a grotesquely patriarchal court in her own mind where she is being cross-examined about – and always blamed for – the dismal state of her marriage. The crucial moment when children realise that their parents are younger than they are had long since been passed by Martha.

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

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