Arthur Craythorne has barely married Queenie May when he is called away to fight in the First World War.
When he returns from the trenches, he is a changed man and his wife and two young daughters, Alice and Florrie, strive hard to steer clear of his aggression and make him proud...Although Florrie follows Arthur into the Catholic Church, it is Alice he seems to favour, and Florrie seethes with envy of her sister as she watches them grow closer.
But Arthur's attentions towards Alice prove darker than either of them can yet acknowledge...And when Arthur dies, the three women he leaves behind must each find ways to cope with all that remains unspoken between them.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 304 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Books
- Publication Date: 01/09/2010
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781848870345
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Review by nicx27
This is quite a strange book. It starts with Arthur, a decorator just before the war, stealing a book from a house he is decorating. From that point onwards, the book is pretty much the main character in this story. He can't read it, but he takes it home and looks at the pictures. Later, during the First World War, he learns to read and when he goes back home he reads it with his younger daughter, Alice. This is where things turn a bit unpleasant, as hinted at in the blurb.Basically, the remainder of the story is the book being passed from pillar to post, Alice being a bit strange, and not a lot else really. One of the worst things about this book is that it's completely emotionless. I felt nothing for any of the characters and found it all very matter of fact.I think the author is a good writer but just needs to inject more feeling into her work. However, it's clear from the other reviews that most people don't agree with me and have loved the book, and so perhaps this is one of those books you either love or don't.