Customer Reviews for

The Hand That First Held Mine

Average Rating 3.5
( 50 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Maggie O'Farrell does it again!

Maggie O'Farrell has a way with words that transcends her from writer to wordsmith and this book reinforces that for me. This is a story of inter-generational love and the minute ways one moment, one person (even from another time and place) can affect our lives. From t...
Maggie O'Farrell has a way with words that transcends her from writer to wordsmith and this book reinforces that for me. This is a story of inter-generational love and the minute ways one moment, one person (even from another time and place) can affect our lives. From the cover to the thick, offset pages, to the beautifully woven story printed within, this book was amazing. I believe some things are better left unsaid. Sometimes it is best to take a chance, to not know what a book is about and to get it anyways. To read it. To immerse yourself into a story worth every second. This is THE book. This is THE author. It is hard to fail with any piece by Maggie O'Farrell. I left this book longing for more, wanting to know what happens next, where did these characters end up? And I can't give any higher compliment than that... read it! You won't regret it.

posted by Of_Books_and_Birds on May 12, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

The climatic ending was great, but the middle of the book could have used a little more oomph.

The Hand That First Held Mine starts with Lexie Sinclair, raised in a wealthy, country family, she flees to postwar London looking for excitement and stimulation. She takes up with Innes, an older man who owns and edits a magazine. As a reporter she develops into a fasc...
The Hand That First Held Mine starts with Lexie Sinclair, raised in a wealthy, country family, she flees to postwar London looking for excitement and stimulation. She takes up with Innes, an older man who owns and edits a magazine. As a reporter she develops into a fascinating woman, strong and opinionated, but with a tender connection to Innes.

Switch to modern day and we meet Elina and Ted, a young couple who have just had a baby through a traumatic birth. As a new father Ted begins to have disturbing visions and memories that he can't place or explain. Elina struggles to recover from the birth and, conversely, seems to be losing her memories.

In the end, the two stories are linked through a horrible tragedy.

I loved the parts of the book about Lexie. She is grows a lot during the book and develops into a woman I would like to know. Her experiences shape her in interesting, yet realistic ways. The modern day story is not as well-written with Ted and Elina seeming to drift in a haze, not knowing what direction to take. The climatic ending was great, but the middle of the book could have used a little more oomph. I didn't enjoy The Hand That First Held Mine as much as The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, but it was worth the read.

I listened to the audio version of The Hand That First Held Mine, read by Anne Flosnick. I am a sucker for a British accent and she hers is a nice, subtle one. I do wish she had used a more pronounced difference for the voices of Lexie and Elina and for the two plot lines in general.

posted by Frisbeesage on August 24, 2010

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