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The Forrests

Tekijä: Emily Perkins

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
14812188,167 (3.39)40
Dorothy Forrest is immersed in the sensory world around her; she lives in the flickering moment. From the age of seven, when her odd, disenfranchised family moves from New York City to the wide skies of Auckland, to the very end of her life, this is her great gift and possible misfortune. Through the wilderness of a commune, to falling in love, to early marriage and motherhood, from the glorious anguish of parenting to the loss of everything worked for and the unexpected return of love, Dorothy is swept along by time. Her family looms and recedes; revelations come to light; death changes everything, but somehow life remains as potent as it ever was, and the joy in just being won't let her go. In a narrative that shifts and moves, growing as wild as the characters, The Forrests is an extraordinary literary achievement. A novel that sings with colour and memory, it speaks of family and time, dysfunction, ageing and loneliness, about heat, youth, and how life can change if 'you're lucky enough to be around for it'.… (lisätietoja)
  1. 10
    The Plumb Trilogy: Plumb / Meg / Sole Survivor (tekijä: Maurice Gee) (dagg)
  2. 00
    The Age Of Hope (tekijä: David Bergen) (fountainoverflows)
    fountainoverflows: Though less impressionistic than The Forrests, Bergen's novel, like Perkins's, follows a woman through her very ordinary life...from her roots in Mennonite Canada. This novel, too, consists of vignettes, and the central character is increasingly puzzled by herself and her life. There are some dreamlike qualities here, too, as the novel progresses.… (lisätietoja)
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englanti (11)  hollanti (1)  Kaikki kielet (12)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 12) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Een dochter uit een excentriek gezin emigreert als kind met haar ouders van New York naar Nieuw-Zeeland. (samenvatting)
  kariend | Oct 7, 2015 |
The Forrests by Emily Perkins is a novel told in a series of gymnastically articulated snapshots, each chapter vividly reflecting a different point in the lives of two sisters, Dorothy and Eve Forrest, who move from New York City to Auckland, New Zealand when they are around 7-8 years old. Though their parents come from money, they have wasted their trust funds, forcing the family to lead stressful and haphazard lives. Dorothy and Eve have two other siblings, Michael and Ruth, that reside on their periphery, but never quite fully engage with the other two.

Admittedly, I had a hard time getting into this book, the first chapter seeming to jump all over in time within a paragraph or two. (I have an obsession with fitting events into a sequentially accurate timeline - I'm fine with jumping around in time, as long as I can place where in time I am.) But by the second chapter or so, the novel began to hit its stride: Perkins' colorful descriptions bringing to life each vignette in a different way. She could precisely capture those moments between childhood and adulthood where everyone else's lives seem shinier than yours, and she also manages to capture those bits in which we learn to put on those shiny, everything's-totally-fine appearances (or at least, we believe we're fooling those to whom we're talking).

Perkins' prose is enchanting, her descriptions uniquely acute. But what the novel gives us in pointed clarity it lacks in depth of field. It's as if in each snapshot, we're given one point of hyperfocus with everything else blurred in the background, darkening at the edges. I never felt I really got a sense of either Dorothy or Eve's separate characters, and their lives seem to be missing a certain fullness that they beg to portray.

Despite a few of its shortcomings, The Forrests pulled me into its glimpses of these women's ordinary but not-so-ordinary lives. Dorothy (and Eve, to an extent) survive but never escape their strange family and upbringing, but manage to find small bits of happiness along the way despite themselves. I'm happy I was given the chance to read the novel, courtesy of Bloomsbury USA, NetGalley, and TLC Book Tours. Check out what other reviewers had to say about the novel here. ( )
  zeteticat | Apr 2, 2013 |
"Brimming with talent." - Esther Freud
Brimming maybe, but not over-flowing.

"A write very much in command........of the unique and surprising variations she brings to the form"- T C Boyle
Unique - well, yes. Meaning plain odd.
Surprising - see above.

This book had "Booker nominee 2012" written all over it. It is long, rambling and contains descriptive passages in their many. It is about nothing, and therefore everything. It is life. If I had to describe it to myself, I would think I would love it. But I didn't.

It was all going so well at the start, I foresaw better things than what I was reading so persevered happily. But as it turned out, the characters were like lacework: pretty and intricate, but full of holes. I think the main problem was that they didn't say enough. I simply couldn't get to know them well enough to care.

It was so close to being more for me, but the text just didn't get me anywhere. I appreciated so many of the wonderful phrasings, but was completely perplexed by half as many. ( )
2 ääni LovingLit | Feb 4, 2013 |
Sadly I have delayed too long writng my own review for this book, but I did love it. It is a gentle tale recounting an ordinary life and perhaps because of this there are those moments and feelings that are so recognisable.
From the cover then
'Dorothy Forrest is immersed in the sensory world around her; she lives in the flickering moment. From the age of seven, when her odd, disenfranchised family moves from New York City to the wide skies of Auckland, to the very end of her life, this is her great gift and possible misfortune.Through the wilderness of a commune, to falling in love, to early marriage and motherhood, from the glorious anguish of parenting to the loss of everything worked for and the unexpected return of love, Dorothy is swept along by time. Her family looms and recedes; revelations come to light; death changes everything, but somehow life remains as potent as it ever was, and the joy in just being won’t let her go.

In a narrative that shifts and moves, growing as wild as the characters, The Forrests is an extraordinary literary achievement. A novel that sings with colour and memory, it speaks of family and time, dysfunction, ageing and loneliness, about heat, youth, and how life can change if ‘you’re lucky enough to be around for it’. ( )
2 ääni HelenBaker | Jan 28, 2013 |
Opening with Frank Forrest filming a family movie of his children, Dorothy, Evelyn, Michael, Ruthie and their friend Daniel, the interrupted script, unintended images, and the ultimate abandonment of the film captures the feel of the novel as a whole and sets up this slice of life series of episodic style shorts from the life of the dysfunctional Forrest family. The Forrests move to New Zealand chasing father Frank's dream of acting but he can no more break into theater in Auckland than he could in New York and the family must fall back on his rapidly disappearing trust fund to live. Thus starts this dreamy novel that follows second Forrest daughter Dorothy's life from childhood through her dementia-riddled old age.

The vignette-like chapters each freeze a moment in time as the story progresses and the Forrests age. Parents Frank and Lee are remote and consumed by their own self-centered whims. They haul their children around without reference to the damage they might do them and they never actually see what is going on in the lives of the kids. Although each of the family members is granted time on the page, Dorothy is the focus of the majority of the novel and so the reader spends the most time reading about her ultimately ordinary life and the never realized dreams she still sometimes entertains, including her lifelong love of family friend Daniel.

The writing is kaleidoscopic, filled with shimmeringly beautiful descriptions and imagery but the feel is still somehow still distant and detached. The feel is almost like a collection of photographs overlaid with a wash, like Instagram snaps. From chapter to chapter there are gaps in time that are left to the reader to fill in. Some of the gaps are quite large and some smaller, an uneven teasing thread. The characters, specifically Dorothy and Eve, can never quite overcome their family and their upbringing, remaining emotionally shattered. They cannot connect, drifting untethered in their own lives. And while the effect seems intentional it is still disorienting for the reader who also cannot quite connect with this admittedly gorgeously written but aloof and oft times dispassionate story. ( )
  whitreidtan | Aug 20, 2012 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 12) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Emily Perkins' sumptuous new book, The Forrests, is a novel to savour slowly: line by line, character by character, revelation by revelation. Within a few pages I felt I was in the company of a contemporary Katherine Mansfield or Virginia Woolf.Why? It is to do with Perkins' attention to the sentence, to the slow mesmeric pace, to the minute details, to the sweet power of analogy and the dialogue that draws you in.....This is one of those rare and precious books that made me want to pick up my pen and write.
 
It might sound like a dreary ambition – to attempt to capture the fullness of one rather ordinary life – but Emily Perkins's book ends up being extraordinary....It seems, in these pages, as if Perkins has a special gift for capturing a child's inner universe, but the talent extends itself as the novel progresses to the incandescent joys and devastations of teenage love, the compromises of mid-life and the tragedy of old age...Life is a fleetingly glorious thing, Perkins seems to say in this magnificent novel.
 
Creative writing teachers will not accuse her novel of committing the sin of description: it's all show, no tell. Scenery is reduced to the locality of an episode: a playground or ski hut or bedroom in the immediate perception of a character. I think the story takes place mostly in Auckland, but the generic suburban setting could be anywhere people say "loo" and "nappies". History is entirely outside the frame;...Minute descriptions of family life drag down this novel
 
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Dorothy Forrest is immersed in the sensory world around her; she lives in the flickering moment. From the age of seven, when her odd, disenfranchised family moves from New York City to the wide skies of Auckland, to the very end of her life, this is her great gift and possible misfortune. Through the wilderness of a commune, to falling in love, to early marriage and motherhood, from the glorious anguish of parenting to the loss of everything worked for and the unexpected return of love, Dorothy is swept along by time. Her family looms and recedes; revelations come to light; death changes everything, but somehow life remains as potent as it ever was, and the joy in just being won't let her go. In a narrative that shifts and moves, growing as wild as the characters, The Forrests is an extraordinary literary achievement. A novel that sings with colour and memory, it speaks of family and time, dysfunction, ageing and loneliness, about heat, youth, and how life can change if 'you're lucky enough to be around for it'.

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