Maggie OFarrell (Free or read online) The Hand That First Held Mine

Maggie OFarrell î 0 Review

There at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene she carves out a new life In the present day Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child Elina struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with sense of herself as an artist and Ted is. 5 I am I am I am in love with Maggie O Farrell s writing She captivates then mesmerizes me completely Currently I am basking in the afterglow of this tale of two extraordinary women living years apart their lives eventually connecting though they will never meet My hand was resting over my heart when I finished and I was a bit emotional yes I was and now I can t wait to read everything she s writtenI made use of both the eBook and audio from Overdrive and discovered just how much my mind wanders when I m listening instead of reading I would go back and read after getting distracted or nodding off honestly believing I hadn t missed much WRONGThe audio was great but my brain is just too distracted to do justice to a work if I use that format Her words are never wasted and they are put to such exuisite purpose you can t afford to miss out

Characters The Hand That First Held Mine

The Hand That First Held Mine

Disturbed by memories of his own childhood that don't tally with his parents' version of events As Ted begins to search for answers an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed separated by fifty years but connected in ways that neither could ever have expect. This book is so hard to uantify with stars because although I hated it for the majority I have to admit that there were definite moments of genius I can recognize what she was attempting here there s a slow poetic visual uality to the writing that sometimes succeeds I can appreciate this type of novel huge Michael Cunningham fan here when it s done with substantial emotion and poignancy and when the words are stunning enough in themselves to negate the absolute need for a concrete plot But I never felt swept up in this book To be honest I was uite bored for most of itThe story follows two eras 1950 s bohemian London and present day London Alexandra is a country girl She s recently been expelled from University for insubordination and yearns to live a larger freer life When Innes Kent blows in to her small town with eccentric clothes and a shiny car she decides to move to London There she changes her name to Lexie on his recommendation and starts a whole new adventurous way of life I actually really loved her transition to capable confident woman She strictly follows her own code even when it s socially improper Meanwhile in present day London Elina and Ted are going through all the stress and insanity that comes with the birth of a first child Elina then Ted each go through strange memory lapses Ted starts to recover memories that he has repressed since childhoodThe present day story line is just so much less exciting than the 1950 s story line and actually that s not all that exciting either The hard thing is I can see exactly what she s trying to say She conveys uite accurately the crazy drained sleep deprived state that takes hold after the birth of a baby I actually felt trapped frustrated and angry while reading those parts which was utterly horrible but maybe that s what she was going for Ted and Elina tip toe around each other evading every uestion insisting constantly that they are fine even while they both are falling apart I wanted to strangle both of them throughout There s a part of the 1950 s story where Lexie nearly hits another character and says are you being willfully obtuse That s exactly what I wanted to say to Ted and Elina I really wanted to shake Elina in the beginning when she stubbornly refuses all help and insists on caring for her newborn son alone the day after she s almost died and even as she s passing out three or four times in a dayThe writing itself is just too drawn out sometimes I felt like there was a ton of unnecessary filler I would find myself tuning out for large swaths Here s an example He finds himself looking forward to a time when he and this child can walk together and discuss the visual effect of early morning sun on dew the astonishing number of people out jogging and dog walking at this ungodly hour the way you can already see that the day is already going to be a hot oneI guess taken all alone this passage really doesn t seem too bad But for an author whose main focus seems to be words and lyricism this feels very bland It s almost like the literary euivalent of stock footage Like what does everyone picture when going to a park Insert words here An entire book filled with this kind of mild tasteless wording really ended up bleaching most of the feeling that I could have experienced from the story itself The plot suffers from far too much foreshadowing She states at least twice and early in the book that one of the characters is not going to make it When the inevitable occurred there was absolutely no shock or emotional punch for me The twist was insinuated at so blatantly that the last third of the book seemed like a foregone conclusion I felt like there was no need for me to even finish readingI can definitely see that Maggie O Farrell is a talented writer There s a strong possibility that I may give one of her other novels a chance before throwing in the towel I can see what she was going for here but I don t think that it was uite achieved

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A gorgeously written story of love and motherhood this is a tour de force from one of our best loved novelists When the sophisticated Innes Kent turns up on her doorstep Lexie Sinclair realises she cannot wait any longer for her life to begin and leaves for London. Listen The trees in this story are stirring trembling readjusting themselves A breeze is coming in gusts off the sea and it is almost as if the trees know in their restlessness in their head tossing impatience that something is about to happen A graveled path curves towards the front door of the house On the washing line petticoats and vests socks and stays nappies and handkerchiefs snap and writhe in the breeze A radio can be heard from somewhere one of the neighbouring houses perhaps and the muffled thwack of an axe falling on wood And so I was lost to these words lost and found in another place in time which took my breath away Having just read her The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox mere days ago which also swept me into her story from the start I m once again in awe of her skills as a writer Not only her ability to craft lovely sentences paragraphs but her ability to weave together two stories that join together with such perfection that I am in aweAlexandra or Sandra as her mother calls her a nickname she detests will eventually go by Lexie a nickname given her by a man she has not met uite yet She is twenty one as this begins and eager for life beyond the four walls of her parents house and the small life she has living on this country lane She has a creeping fear of late that what she wants most for her life to begin to take on some meaning to turn from blurred monochrome into glorious technicolour may pass her by That she might not recognize it if it comes her way might fail to grasp for it Innes Kent is just down the road from her at this moment a thirty four year old man an art dealer and journalist and many things but the one thing he is not is a car mechanic which would certainly come in handy now that his car a silver and ice blue MG has broken downIt is later on in 1950 s London is where this story really begins in and around Soho and I wandered through these streets with Lexie as she slowly learns what she wants from this lifeAn alternating storyline that takes place some fifty or so years later where we follow the lives of Elina and Ted which weaves through this book as well It all is so seamless that it doesn t feel disruptive with transitions that seem effortless and natural Many of my friends have read and loved her books Angela and Betsy come to mind uickly as well as Debbie and her pogo stick who hasn t read this one yet but has become a fan Angela s review for This Must Be the Place was the one I remember wanting to read first but I ve read these in the order my library has them available for me and I m not complaining I hate to leave this one behind but I hear others calling me Of note at the end of this story there is another story a short story which others have also mentioned The House I Live In which I also loved A somewhat haunting tale This story can also be read online s review s review s review thanks as well to the Public Library system and the many Librarians that manage organize and keep it running for the loan of this book


10 thoughts on “The Hand That First Held Mine

  1. says:

    Edited to make correction Originally read Aug 25 2014 I loved this novel mostly because of the writing Yes I loved the story and the characters too but from the exuisite opening paragraph it was all about the writing“Liste

  2. says:

    ”Listen The trees in this story are stirring trembling readjusting themselves A breeze is coming in gusts off the sea and it is almost as if the trees know in their restlessness in their head tossing impatience that something is

  3. says:

    47 rounded up because I just had toThis writer this Maggie O’Farrell just wow I’ve never read five books by any writer before and I did this all within a year what?? That should give you a hint of how ga ga I am over Maggie dearest Can I call her Maggie please as if we’re all chummy chummy since I want to be?What did I like about this book? Well just about everything It is 100 percent absorbing It has the reuired good characters pl

  4. says:

    Any fiction novel which follows the five or six literary fiction novels I have just finished may well have big shoes to fill but The Hand That

  5. says:

    5 🎨 🎨 🎨 🎨 🎨I am I am I am in love with Maggie O’Farrell’s writing She captivates then mesmerizes me completely Currently I a

  6. says:

    Oh no another favourite author releasing a new title – cue the sickening feelings of anxiety when I settle into the story wondering if it wi

  7. says:

    This book left me breathless gulping and sobbing Maggie O’Farrell is a master—of story structure and my god transitions But that is stuff writers swoon over For readers there is a great story of family connections that transcend known facts It’s about the truths we intuit and how they can nag direct and torture us until we bring them into consciousness and the now A wonderful bookBy the way the Kindle e

  8. says:

    5 Earth Shattering StarsA brilliant portrayal of motherhood and a mother’s love that is transcendent Maggie O’Farrell captures so much the exhaustion the anxieties the joys the overall magnitude of what a mother is“ It’s a special thing you have with him It’s like he has this internal timer that measures how long he hasn’t seen you and without warning it can just go off and nothing else will mollify him”This book tug

  9. says:

    This book is so hard to uantify with stars because although I hated it for the majority I have to admit that there were defi

  10. says:

    Although choosing a favourite author is tough when forced to do so I would often than not answer with Maggie O'Farrell as mine I find her style

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