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The storm has blown away the gangplank between Maurice and Grace and, almost delirious with drink, the two men climb down Maurice 's fixed ladder, intending somehow to cross the wild water between the two boats. It is like a shared thought then - shared with the reader - when she explains her relationship with a man to another character by saying the man was going to show her how to fold a map properly. This houseboat world is one which appealed to me when I was younger, before I realised that living in small cramped spaces with things sliding about on surfaces, wouldn't be idyllic, even if I stopped being a martyr to motion sickness. Sellers, dressed in brilliant colours, outshone the purchasers, and instead of welcoming them, either ignored them or were so rude that they could only have hoped to drive them away.

Perhaps I had that in common with the motley crew who live in the barges and boats on the Battersea Reach. I'm well-educated and I've got two children and I can manage pretty well, there's a number of much more essential things I know how to do, but I can't do those ones, and when they come up I feel like weeping myself sick. This book is an acquired taste, but, although it might now seem too dated to do so, I can well understand why it won the Booker Prize in 1979.It vividly conjures the vicissitudes of the sights and sounds of the water and weather, aided by a splattering of boaty jargon. And just as every denizen of Battersea Reach is battling the leaks just to stay afloat, so too they constantly struggle not to be overwhelmed by life and love and the vagaries of the postal service. As the book worked up to an ending which shocks you with its abruptness, but on reflection seems the most appropriate one possible, I began to see how the threads of the story all prove to have a purpose, link and mesh tightly together. Hilary Spurling, one of the judges, later said that the panel was unable to decide between A Bend in the River and Darkness Visible, settling on Offshore as a compromise. Martha's instinctive affront at this, a sense of strong boundaries she has developed despite, or somehow in response to, her muddled family life, made me think again about something - indignation about knowing one is being prayed for - that I'd seen as a feature of the New Atheist movement.

Penelope Fitzgerald’s Booker Prize-winning novel of loneliness and connecting is set among the houseboat community of the Thames, with an introduction from Alan Hollinghurst. In any case, Richard's behaviour and skills are always tidily attributed to 'training', a word encompassing both military and social conditioning. The advantages of youth, "Tilda cared nothing for the future, and had, as a result, a great capacity for happiness. In a 2013 introduction, Alan Hollinghurst noted that Offshore was the novel in which Fitzgerald found her form – her technique and her power. There is minimal plot as Nenna tries to reconcile with her husband, and Willis attempts to sell his boat.Richard Blake is something of an unofficial leader of the community, and his ex-Navy experience grants him good stead. When she's alone, her thoughts "took the form of a kind of perpetual magistrates' hearing", perpetually having to defend her action and inaction regarding her marriage. Through years of attempting to lick herself clean, for she had never quite lost her self-respect, Stripey had become as thickly coated with mud inside as out. During my first read, I missed some things in relation to the character of Maurice (in my defense, I was very tired).

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. Or the description of Stripey, the James children's mud-encrusted cat: "The ship's cat was in every way appropriate to the Reach. 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. Nenna herself, as foolish and helpless as I myself feel, though entirely sympathetic, reminds me of Bridget Jones, or even better a character from one of Wes Anderson's films, which this book decidedly evokes for me.I was totally drawn into the atmosphere of the book, and the characters will stay with me for a long time. Their dwelling is determined by something in their characters: 'They aspired towards the Chelsea shore….

I suppose that she met the author's task--she fully engaged this reader and pulled me into the story. i hate when i don't finish a book, but halfway through the book i found myself still not caring about anyone in the book. Willis, a naval artist who has never been to sea, is hoping to sell his boat The Dreadnought before she inevitably sinks.As they cling to the ladder, Maurice 's anchor is wrenched from the mud, its mooring ropes part, and the boat puts out on the tide.

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

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