Customer Reviews for

The Stranger's Child

Average Rating 3
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sprawling Perfection

    The Stranger's Child follows two British families, the Vances and the Sawles, from before WWI to the present. Both families were in the British upper class, with the Vances a bit higher, having a title. The sons of the families, Cecil and George, become friends at college, and the book begins with Cecil Vance's visit to George Sawle's family home on a weekend. Daphne, George's teenage sister, is infatuated with Cecil, too innocent to understand that the young men are sexually involved with each other. Cecil, a budding poet, dashes off a poem in Daphne's autograph book before he leaves. This poem becomes his most famous, and the one by which he is forever known.

    The next section occurs after the war. Daphne is now Lady Vance, but is not married to Cecil. Cecil is killed in the war, and Daphne has married his brother Dudley. George is now married and teaching. The section follows their married years and their friends and acquaintances. They are part of an artistic circle with poets, authors and artists.

    Fast forward a generation. The Vance family home has now become a boy's school, and Peter Rowe is a schoolmaster there. He begins an affair with Paul Bryant, who works as a bank teller in Daphne's son-in-law's bank. The circle of connection moves forward with Peter being invited to play duets with Daphne's daughter, Corrine, at gatherings at their home.
    Another generation. Now Paul has become an author, specifically a biographer. He trades on his acquaintance with the Vance and Sawle families to ferret out their secrets and create a best-seller. George became the author, with his wife, of a famous historical textbook that became the milestone of every British child's education. Daphne spends her old age living with her son, who guards her jealously.

    Alan Hollinghurst has created a fascinating book that looks at an era in British history where there were only a limited number of people who 'counted' and they all knew each other in some way, or had some tangential relationship or acquaintance that brought them into the charmed circle. He also plays with the idea of memory, how we are remembered when we are no longer here, and whether memories are ever true or are instead tinged and shaped by what we want to have happened. Families rise and fall, fortunes and titles come and go. The sections are tied together interestingly, with minor characters tieing back in unexpected ways to the two main families. This book has been nominated for the Mann Booker Prize in 2011, and is a well-deserved nomination.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2012

    Mmmmm . . .

    The story and characters were interesting and they are what propelled me to finish this book, but it was not an easy thing to do. I can't put my finger on why, but The Stranger's Child was a very difficult book to read. I could only do it in short bursts as a very little goes a long way with this one. I can't decide if I enjoyed it or not. Mmmmmm . . .

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    This was a really enjoyable book

    I truly enjoyed this book, the tale was colorfully written, and the characters jumped out at you. I loved coming home after a long day at work, and relaxing after dinner with this book. Phenomenal Author! I also loved THE CHATEAU by C D Swanson. A fantastic tale of intrique, and flamboyant and loving characters that all blend well together. The MC was awesome, and the adventure and shocking twists and turns, made me truly understand the meaning of "page turner!" Love both books and recommend them to all who love good reading material.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not An Easy Read

    The effort the author went to in writing The Stranger's Child is enormous, or so it appears to me. He has created a story that transcends lives, and characters who are not stick figures commonly seen in fiction. Yet his efforts result in a book that is at times difficult to enjoy. The stuffy British upper class are not always interesting. But the look at the times, and how gays were portrayed (or not) is indeed fascinating.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    thinker

    Very well written

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Coincidence?

    I think I read this story before...The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Facebook

    I h hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhate this book becase its stupid anb thatZ y i hate it

    0 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

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