A Novel

Joyce, Rachel

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
In the aftermath of a life-shattering accident in the English countryside in 1972, twelve-year-old Byron Hemming struggles with events that his mother does not seem to remember and embarks on a journey to discover what really did or did not happen.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2013]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 0812993306
Characteristics: 385 pages ;,22 cm


From the critics

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Dec 29, 2014
  • DonBid rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this book overall but had to push myself to read until the end, was a little dark at times and completely different to Rachel Joyce's other books.

Dec 01, 2014
  • JMFreads rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I loved this story. I thought it was an excellently written novel. I am eager to read Joyce's Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Aug 29, 2014
  • lizhelboe rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book is difficult to rate because I think it is a good book club selection but not one I would recommend to a friend to read. It lends itself well for discussion with themes of mental illness, fate, and the ambiguity of some of the story line. It is a well written book with lots of layers in the story but the overall feel of the book is a bit depressing.

May 23, 2014
  • GMMacKelvie rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I borrowed this, having enjoyed Joyce's Unlikely Pilgrimage (which I found lovely). However, anyone even a bit susceptible to anxiety may find this read unbearable. What seemed a relentlessly growing thread of hallucinations and misunderstandings had me wanting to return the book asap. I stuck it out to see how it ended, and was left with a sense of grim pointlessness. Perhaps that was the point?

Feb 02, 2014
  • Mothercat rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I found this a sad little book overall, and think I enjoyed her Harold Fry story more - still worth reading, though.

Jan 07, 2014
  • MsMoMo rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The way that some British authors take highly emotional events and convey them in a tightly restrained way comes across in this book. The author also manages to capture the way in which the magical thinking of children places them in the middle of these events, for better or worse.

Dec 20, 2013
  • LibrarianLaura rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Enjoyed her first novel more but this was still entertaining though much darker. Looking forward to whatever Joyce writes next but hoping it will be a bit more hopeful.

A powerful, compassionate story that includes a portrait of a man struggling with OCD. The marriage depicted in the first half of the book is one of the most chilling ever written. I read this beautifully written novel in two sittings, the psychological tension was terrific. Great commentary on class, money, family and mental illness.

Dec 10, 2013
  • ohtethys rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

After the funny, optimistic book that was the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, I was so looking forward to this new novel. Unfortunately, I just found it to be so sad with none of the humour and inspiration to balance it out.

Nov 25, 2013
  • AllisonCasa rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I found it to be a bit predictable. Interesting read but not as good as I thought it would be.


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