After more than half a century at her London address, artist and illustrator Edwina Spinner, is selling up. As she accompanies the real estate agent from room to room, there are a lifetime of memories to reflect on: her first husband Ollie, their twins Charlie and Rowena; her second husband Dickie and his son Lucas.
Spanning from the 1960s to the present day, this bittersweet story with its multiple time frames and perspectives, offers a fresh take on a blended family complete with its secrets and betrayals, its triumphs and tragedies. An easy but intriguing and thought-provoking read.
Everybody loved this. Loved the humour, the twists and turns. Also the questions in the notes were helpful in exploring the story.
Everyone really enjoyed it and we had an entertaining discussion. Highly recommended.
Very few read the book, but would have if not for the explicit language and sex. Could have been an excellent book apart from that; could have been condensed especially the part about Fern.
We all enjoyed this book, with most of us enjoying Edwina best. We had a few away for various reasons so actually went through the notes & questions and these generated a great discussion. (I've put the other ladies' reviews in with the books). Most of us thought the ending was a bit flaky. We also thought Edwina was portrayed to be older than she actually was. We actually felt a bit (only a bit) sorry for Lucas because he was a product of his mother. Some of us thought the chapters on Fern a bit out there - some of us didn't notice and thought it was relevant to the times. Good book.
Everyone in the group enjoyed the book, finding it an engaging read. We thought the characterisations were pretty accurate and the writing flowed. The transitions from the focus on one character to another were a bit abrupt taking several pages to orientate to the changed focus. One question posed was "Whose story is it really", and the ending was rather contrived.
A clever author who captured the atmosphere surrounding the key characters in each section. While the chapters on Edwina were the favourite of several in our group, it was acknowledged that the style used for Fern's story, while being more confrontational in the focus on sex and drug use, was appropriate to that story. A thoughtful discussion included consideration of whether motherhood and parenting are separate issues; can one be a good mother without being a good parent and vice versa. Quite a range of opinions with some rating this book 2.5 while others considered it a 4.
The majority of our group found this book an easy read and enjoyable. All enjoyed the first section about Edwina more and were not so much attracted by the section on Fern. Some though, added that that part bought back memories of their student days and some felt it caused them to reflect on the good and bad things done raising their own children. The different 'attractions' were interesting as well as the thread running through the book on twins. Some felt the ending was a bit 'Disney', that Rowena's character could have been expanded, and there was some empathy for Lucas.
With the exception of one person, this book was loved by everyone:-)
We found this an enjoyable read. Stimulated a good discussion.
This was a very readable book and gave us much to think about and discuss. However, from the synopsis in the catalogue we were not prepared for the extreme and unpleasant descriptions of the young people's lifestyles.
Enjoyed by the whole group. Although a very sad story, it is told jauntily and with delightful humour. Highly recommended.
'Moving' was quite controversial for our group. Opinions ranged from "one of the best books read this year" to "not my sort of book". Great discussion on Edwina showing the estate agent through the rooms of her home. We were interested in the author drawing on experiences of her family - made them real. It was a cleverly written book....
Out of 8 members present, 6 enjoyed the book. 2 thought it 'was too much like real life'.
All loved this book with its exciting ending.
The majority loved the book - easy read, interesting and well-written. We enjoyed the humour, and found the book thought provoking, tragic and showing the contrast between the classes. Would recommend to others, and we want to read her other novels. We enjoyed the questions as well.