- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
HAVISHAM IS THE ASTONISHING PRELUDE TO CHARLES DICKENS'S GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams ahead of her. Spry, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer. But she is never far from the smell of hops and the arresting letters on the brewhouse wall—HAVISHAM—a reminder of all she ...
HAVISHAM IS THE ASTONISHING PRELUDE TO CHARLES DICKENS'S GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
Before she became the immortal and haunting Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, she was Catherine, a young woman with all of her dreams ahead of her. Spry, imperious, she is the daughter of a wealthy brewer. But she is never far from the smell of hops and the arresting letters on the brewhouse wall—HAVISHAM—a reminder of all she owes to the family name and the family business.
Sent by her father to stay with the Chadwycks, Catherine discovers elegant pastimes to remove the taint of her family's new money. But for all her growing sophistication, Catherine is anything but worldly, and when a charismatic stranger pays her attention, everything—her heart, her future, the very Havisham name—is vulnerable.
In Havisham, Ronald Frame unfurls the psychological trauma that made young Catherine into Miss Havisham and cursed her to a life alone, roaming the halls of the mansion in the tatters of the dress she wore for the wedding she was never to have.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013
“This literary prequel imagines the life of Catherine Havisham, from privileged childhood to the macabre death scene of Dickens's Great Expectations....Frame's book is a pleasurable read.”—The New Yorker
“Delicate and closely observed....Frame has a nice feel for the epiphanic shudders of a young woman's heart and a watercolorist's eye for English landscapes....What a lark. What a plunge.”—Louis Bayard, The Washington Post
“Charles Dickens never revealed Miss Havisham's backstory in Great Expectations, but Ronald Frame fills in the blanks with his illuminating prequel, Havisham. He spins his story slowly, tracing Catherine Havisham's journey from a young, unassuming heiress to the unhinged spinster so familiar to fans of Dickens' novel—tattered wedding dress, decrepit mansion, and all....Frame has brought a clean, modern sensibility to his rendering of the tale...Intensely entrancing plot. B+.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Before she took to pacing about her cobwebbed London manse in a tattered wedding gown, literature’s most famous jilted bride, Miss Havisham, ran the family brewery. Expectations are great for this engaging 'prequel' to Dickens’ classic.”—Good Housekeeping, New Book Picks
“In Havisham, his prequel to Great Expectations, Ronald Frame colorfully imagines the traumas that doomed the tortured Miss Havisham.”—Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair’s Hot Type
“An excellent example of a present-day writer taking on a classic, Havisham gives the reader food for thought while reviving one of the great characters of Victorian literature.”—Elisabeth Atwood, Bookpage
“Readers will be eager to discover what led to that fateful wedding day when [Miss Havisham] was abandoned at the altar.”—Library Journal
“Frame’s presentation of the era is substantial but not overdone....An intelligently imagined Dickens prequel.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Ronald Frame is one of Scotland’s finest writers and this new book will confirm his reputation as a writer whom it is simply a delight to read.”—Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series
“Some 150 years after Dickens first breathed life into her, Miss Havisham remains one of his most memorable characters. Tragedy is the very essence of her life. Yet, as much as we think we know her backstory and all that guided her life of bitterness and sorrow, with Havisham, Ronald Frame eloquently tells her story anew....As one who has long loved Dickens, I never thought I would be describing a book as a 'companion' to one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. But here I am, doing just that. Havisham is well worth the read.”—Robert Hicks, author of the New York Times bestselling Widow of the South and A Separate Country
“Havisham is a vivid and moving novel. Ronald Frame’s prose is full of visual delights as his elegiac portrait of a lady unfurls in baroque episodes and fragments that flare with fire rubies and bruises in candlelight.”—Deborah Lawrenson, author of The Lantern
“An elegant revisiting of one of our most revered, and most enigmatic ghosts. Perhaps we all have a streak of Havisham in us—with our great expectations and our dreams of the past.”—Carole DeSanti, author of The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R.
“Frame makes Dickens' ghostly Miss Havisham a real woman of flesh, blood, pain and guilt. He gives us a hopeful girl, caught between loss and class, and in doing so he makes her demons all the more powerful. A rich, evocative and poignant work.”— Stella Duffy, author of Theodora
“Havisham is delightful, and all the more so for sending you hungrily back to its source material.”—Sunday Express (London)
“To flesh out the back-story of one of the great characters in the English novel is an achievement which makes us return to the original with fresh eyes.”—The Independent (London)
“This re-imagining will delight readers...Frame has a talent for thrilling Victorian melodrama, and he tackles the controversial ending with superb assurance.”—The Times (London
Posted December 2, 2013
As a big fan of Charles Dickens, and never having read Great Expectations before, I was eager to read this.
It is the heartbreaking story about a wealthy young woman named Catherine Havisham, the daughter of a nouveau rich man earned his riches making beer and ale. Frowned on by the upper classes, her father sends her off to live with a more noble family to ease her into society. Cathrine is deeply in love with the man she is about to marry, but to her utter shock and devastation, he never shows up for the ceremony and she is left at the altar. This sets off a chain of events as Catherine is left to pick up the pieces of her life and run the family business after her father dies. She does so with a ruthless ambition, growing the business even further. But others thwart her, embezzle, seek to usurp her authority. Betrayal, frayed trust, and resilience are underlying themes in this novel.
At first, I struggled to "get into" the novel, and set it aside several times. On the 4th try, I persevered, and was glad that I did, because after that, I was thoroughly engrossed in the story. I think my difficulties lay with the writing itself, and not the story. At times, scenes were under explained and too brief and I found myself going back to re-read passages to try to understand the meaning. Other times, the prose sparked with brilliant descriptions and emotion. Other than the unusual writing style, it was a great book. Now I'm eager to sit down and finally read Great Expectations. Don't be afraid to give this book a try, especially if you're a Dickens fan!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 10, 2013
I was so excited to read *Havisham*, which is the life story of the MIss Havisham from Dickens novel *Great Expectations.* Having long been fascinated by her Gothic craziness, I was intrigued by the idea of isolating her story and telling it. In total, I enjoyed reading it very, very much. If I could have suggested one change to the author, it would be to use a bit more action in the story other than just recounting her (and some other characters) inner dialogue. I did think the author's use of description and bringing the desolate setting and mood from the Dickens novel succeeded very well. This book is quite worth the time and I highly recommend it.
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 13, 2013
While there were some entertaining parts of the book overall I was not impressed. The Havisham the author depicted was a huge disappointment to me , and I felt like the character was never fully developed. My other criticisms for the book lie in the story telling itself, the plot if often random and jumps from one character to the next without a smooth transition. Scenes were choppy and hard to follow at times.
I grew up reading "Great Expectations" and imagining my own Miss Havisham which may have led to my disappointment of this character but in my opinion this book doesn't live up to the legend Dickens created.