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Joanna Briscoe

Teoksen Sleep With Me tekijä

8+ Works 365 Jäsentä 37 arvostelua 1 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Joanna Briscoe

Image credit: The Observer

Tekijän teokset

Sleep With Me (2005) 205 kappaletta
You (2011) 91 kappaletta
Mothers and Other Lovers (1994) 32 kappaletta
Touched (2014) 18 kappaletta
The Seduction (2020) 9 kappaletta
Skin (1997) 8 kappaletta

Associated Works

Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre (2016) — Avustaja — 289 kappaletta
Revenge: Short Stories by Women Writers (1986) — Avustaja — 49 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




This is my first novel by Joanna Briscoe, so I was not sure what to expect. This is a story about elicit entanglements, obsessive love, regrets, lost opportunities and how our pasts and our actions can come back to haunt us. Briscoe's depiction of the Dartmoor region, with its sweeping moor lands and feeling of isolation is wonderfully captured, as is the rambling, falling down Bannan family farmhouse. Using a languid writing style, I found the 1970s flashbacks filled with Briscoe's bohemian community reminded me in a way of A.S. Byatt's [The Children Book] and Byatt's depiction of the early 1900s art and crafts society. I should mention that one needs to wade through a fair bit of minutiae but I am one of those readers that happily lap up details of bohemian life and the wilds of progressive schooling. Where this story fell apart for me is with the modern (20 years later) sections and the adult Cecilia character. I can appreciate that she wants answers from her mom - answers her mom does not want to come forward with - but what an annoying character! It is never a good sign when I disagree with the protagonist's motivations and decisions. Thankfully, after wading through a fair bit of personal baggage, we finally get to the truth. The story ends with a potential lead in to a sequel, so fans of Briscoe's stories may be hopeful for more, but not this reader.

Overall, I loved the wild Dartmoor setting, the old, rambling Bannan home and the bohemian lifestyle depicted on the pages, but the sections of the book set in modern time just did not work for me. I found it all too dramatic and too 'contrived' for my tastes.
… (lisätietoja)
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lkernagh | 22 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 3, 2020 |
Having read some of Joanna Briscoe's other works I guessed I was in for an intense ride with The Seduction. I wasn't wrong. I might also have been a tiny bit seduced myself by that stunning cover.

Beth is an artist, living in a house overlooking Camden Lock with her husband, Sol, and thirteen year old daughter, Fern. The lock itself plays a part in the story as the rippling of the water, the passers-by (who may or may not be looking at Beth), and the dark and rather sinister feel of it as night falls, all add to a general feeling of unease.

Beth's own mother left when she was thirteen and it's left her with a multitude of issues. Now Fern has reached that age herself and Beth's own childhood trauma seems to trigger something in her to the extent that Sol suggests Beth should seek help from a therapist. Enter Dr Tamara Bywater, a woman who seems to be one thing and then another, all the while beguiling Beth who is clearly at her most vulnerable at this difficult time.

The book is peppered with unlikeable characters. I can't think of a single one that I could take to. But I was utterly entranced by them all, reading on as their actions hurtled them recklessly towards self-destruction. I could empathise with Beth though, a woman who had clearly not dealt with the demons of her past. The last thing she needed was someone like Tamara, a dangerous and multi-layered character who should be there to help Beth. Their relationship had me fascinated, hardly wanting to take my eyes off the page. The characters have so much emotional baggage to unpack that I was practically getting the popcorn out and settling back to watch it all unravel.

I know that some of the author's other works have been made into TV dramas. The Seduction would definitely make a great adaptation. I found myself reading bits out loud, mostly Beth's dialogue for some reason. I think I was absorbed by her reactions to Tamara.

Briscoe has an unique writing style with a fairly stark tone that I really don't think I appreciated as a younger reader. Now I find myself delving more into the meanings, the ulterior motives, the nuances, looking to understand the characters' actions and thoughts, and wondering how I would behave in the same circumstances.

I found The Seduction to be quite the page turner with the issue of trust, and the abuse of that trust, at its heart. I enjoyed it very much.
… (lisätietoja)
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nicx27 | Jun 13, 2020 |
I picked this book up in an attempt to read some of the numerous TBR items on my shelves, which probably isn't the best attitude to start reading a book. As it had been in my TBR stack so long, I could no longer remember why I had added it in the first place, and the first half didn't really provide any illuminating clues. Richard annoyed me from the start and I didn't really buy into his relationship with Lelia. The subplot about his friend's obsession about a woman (it was pretty easy to guess who the woman was) was dull. The way Sylvie was introduced, it was immediately clear that she wasn't up to any good, but as the poor reader, you had to keep reading for a long time to understand why and how. I'm glad I'm finally finished with this book.… (lisätietoja)
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mari_reads | 8 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 16, 2019 |
Life is complicated and it doesn’t seem to get any easier. This is a hauntingly engaging novel of lost innocence as Cecilia faces up to her youthful indiscretions with the reluctant aid of her mother – a past that is also mirrored in a distorted fashion by her adopted daughter, Izzy. The tumult of the characters is heightened by the descriptions of the wildness of the Dartmoor countryside which has an influence on their behaviour. Cecilia and her mother, Dora, have to examine their own consciences and reflect on their action of 25 years ago as they attempt to resolve their present lives. Joanna Briscoe’s prose highlights their dilemmas in the most striking of ways and makes for an intriguing and extremely satisfying experience. Sometimes secrets kept and the questioning to reveal the truth, are painful to those involved and these experiences are fully realised throughout the sensitive writing in this novel.… (lisätietoja)
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camharlow2 | 22 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 31, 2017 |



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