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The Northern Clemency
     

The Northern Clemency

3.3 11
by Philip Hensher
 

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In 1974, the Sellers family is transplanted from London to Sheffield in northern England. On the day they move in, the Glover household across the street is in upheaval: convinced that his wife is having an affair, Malcolm Glover has suddenly disappeared. The reverberations of this rupture will echo through the years to come as the connection between the families

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Northern Clemency 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1974, the Sellars brood leaves hip London for suburban ennui in Sheffield in the inappropriately named South Yorkshire as they trek to the north. The two Sellars sisters, reticent Francis and extroverted Sandra are concerned that life in the burbs will prove boring as the former loves music and the latter loves swinging London.

Their neighbors, the Glover family consists of two parents and three kids. Patriarch Malcolm is outraged when he finds evidence that his wife Katherine is having an affair. As for the children, bookworm Jane conceals from everyone she is writing a novel; Daniel¿s brain consists of one icon sex with any carbon bearing species; and the youngest preadolescent Tim is friendlier with snakes than people.

One decade later, the kids are away from home either at universities or working. The empty nest syndrome is compounded with employment issues for the older generation as their hobs die and the new economy begins to shape everyone. Into the nineties, the children as adults live around the world, but come home as often as they can seek solace.

This is an interesting family drama that showcases two families during the Thatcher Era. Each of the ensemble cast is fully developed as readers see them all from multiple perspectives. Although the story line is extremely passive, fans will relish this deep character study of two generations struggling in different ways to survive the Conservative period, a time of technology and dramatically changing globalization (Thomas Friedman¿s The World Is Flat comes to mind although much of his treatise occurs after the events of THE NORTHERN CLEMENCY) in which the older generation feels hopelessly lost and left behind and their offspring disillusioned and unhappy.

Harriet Klausner
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hencher's characters--two families in 1970s Sheffield--are flawed and often trying, but his vivid writing and generous spirit connect you to them and even after nearly 900 pages, you are loath to let them go.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well-written, but entirely too long.