Children's Book, The

by A.S. Byatt | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780701183905 Global Overview for this book
Registered by FreePages of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on 8/26/2009
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT | Bol.com
6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This is my contribution to the 2009 Booker prize longlist reading challenge.
My plan is to read this first and then send it on a bookring.

Participants
jubby
goodthinkingmax
star-light
Fleebo
livrecache =>Book is Here
miss-jo
Sujie
tqd
and back to FreePages for my permanent collection.

Synopsis (from the booker prize website)

Olive Wellwood is a famous writer, interviewed with her children gathered at her knee. For each of them she writes a separate private book, bound in different colours and placed on a shelf. In their rambling house near Romney Marsh they play in a story-book world - but their lives, and those of their rich cousins, children of a city stockbroker, and their friends, the son and daughter of a curator at the new Victoria and Albert Museum, are already inscribed with mystery. Each family carries their own secrets.

Into their world comes a young stranger, a working-class boy from the potteries, drawn by the beauty of the Museum’s treasures. And in midsummer a German puppeteer arrives, bringing dark dramas. The world seems full of promise but the calm is already rocked by political differences, by Fabian arguments about class and free love, by the idealism of anarchists from Russia and Germany. The sons rebel against their parents’ plans; the girls dream of independent futures, becoming doctors or fighting for the vote.

This vivid, rich and moving saga is played out against the great, rippling tides of the day, taking us from the Kent marshes to Paris and Munich and the trenches of the Somme. Born at the end of the Victorian era, growing up in the golden summers of Edwardian times, a whole generation were heading for the darkness ahead; in their innocence, they were betrayed unintentionally by the adults who loved them. In a profound sense, this novel is indeed the children’s book.

My thoughts:
The above Synopsis comes close to covering the topics in the book, but I think there is so much more to it. There is quite a bit of history that may not really be necessary to the story but I loved that it was included - not everyone might. I thought that WW1 might interrupt the character's lives a bit earlier in the book (WW1 is only covered in the last fifty pages), but when it is covered it is pretty intense. For me it was a fantastically rich and vivid read. I could easily immerse myself in this book again.

Nov 2-13. Pages 615

Journal Entry 2 by FreePages at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (11/18/2009 UTC) at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:


Bookring has started!

In the post to Jubby today.

Enjoy

:-)

Journal Entry 3 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, November 20, 2009
Received in the post today - thank you.

Journal Entry 4 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, January 21, 2010
Because I have a bit to read and do at present, I sent this one onto Goodthinkingmax to read, and I'll attempt it after her.

A book that I am most excited about starting and reading for myself.

Journal Entry 5 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
To begin, I am very sorry I forgot to journal this when I received it from Jubby.

It took me a while to really immerse in this book. I am not sure if it was laziness on my part or an overwhelming number of characters and plots to keep track of during the first few chapters. By about chapter eight I fell into it and realised that the characters and plots were still coming but I had become interested. It's an amazing book which covers so many historical political, cultural and economic events between 1895 and 1918, some well known, others very obscure (at least to me). Taking place in this incredibly detailed and researched time period are a multitude of unexpected soap operatic twists and turns which kept me turning the pages. Many of the locations such as museums and art galleries are also described with great effort. It was difficult at times to maintain patience as it sometimes took chapters to return to a particular character and his/her plot. I was torn between admiration for meticulous research about topics such as pottery, art, women's suffrage, puppetry to just wanting to pursue the stories and I must confess to skimming a few bits! I was satisfied with the ending and felt the lesser number of pages devoted to World War One was impactful and made the devastation on the lives, idealism and minutae of the characters, which the reader now knew in such detail, more brutal.

Jubby, are you ready for this book now or will I send it on to star-light? I could drop it on your doorstep tomorrow.

Journal Entry 6 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, February 25, 2010
Yoohoo!

Yes, I am here, and I've been able to pick myself up a copy of this book for $1 - can you believe it? It was at the Ikea bookcase celebrations at Bondi Beach last month.

So, bring your good self over to our doorstep Goodthinkingmax for a slap up dinner or wee drink, but we've already got the book - so post that one to Star-light. Or, I can if you like.

Thank you ladies.
Looking forward to reading this one and it is the May read for my online reading group (ANZLITLOVERS - not that I ever participate with the discussion in time!).

I'll be sure to leave a journal entry here and to check to see what others think.

Journal Entry 7 by star-light from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Thursday, March 11, 2010
Oh my goodness, look at the size of this one! I have a couple of books ahead of this one, but I'll do my best to keep this one moving along.

Journal Entry 8 by star-light from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Thursday, May 13, 2010
I haven't had a chance to read this, but I'm going to pass it on. I'll be moving soon and I don't want the book to go missing in the process. Maybe some other time...

Journal Entry 9 by Fleebo on Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Received safely in the mail, thanks!

Journal Entry 10 by Fleebo at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Three words: Too. Many. Characters.
I am still plugging through it and quite enjoying it, in fact. The setting is intriguing, the words are lovely and it certainly feels like tensions are building. It just needs a little more focus. Although an incident may be portentous I don't really want a one-sentence reaction from each of twelve different people, you know?

Journal Entry 11 by Fleebo at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, August 11, 2010
It's taken a while but I have finally finished this book.
As I mentioned before, there are way too many characters and it was impossible to be interested in them all when I kept mixing them up or wondering if I had even heard of them before. One of the WWI soldiers I simply couldn't place at all, and by that time I wasn't inclined to flick back to try and find him.
Oh, and Edwardian women appear to be incredibly fertile. It only ever took one misjudgement to land them in trouble.
The history is interesting but the overall feel of the book is dreamlike, I suppose it was intended to be like a children's story after all.
May I point out that New Zealand women were able to vote fully 25 years before the British...

Journal Entry 12 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Monday, September 13, 2010
Well, this book has arrived safely with me, and I'm looking forward to reading it, although I have to say that in reading other books by this author, there were Too Many Characters (and it was all a tad pretentious). And from what has already been said,this may be the same – so far as the number of characters goes. However, I'm interested to read it. Thank you all.

Journal Entry 13 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Friday, August 05, 2011
Almost a year later (hangs head):

To my shame, I started The Children's Book months and months ago, and then got distracted by having to move interstate and get my aged mother into an 'elderly care facility' and selling her house (and getting rid of 90 years' worth of stuff). Once all that was achieved, I had to re-establish my Melbourne-based business from Hobart. That took some doing as people seem to think Tasmania is the end of the world – which it is. So that's my list of excuses.
Now like has almost settled doen, I shall bring this book to the top of my TBR.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.