Other commentators have observed how accurately the minute details of the time, just after WWII, have been documented. I spotted several anachronisms and inaccuracies without looking for them. For example Auntie Vi watched an advert for Maidenform Bras on a television which had been bought in order to watch the Coronation; this would be impossible because (a) The BBC has never shown adverts. (b) A television bought in 1953 had no tuner and would be incapable of receiving the ITV signal. The chronology is a bit unclear at times too, for example when was Martin conceived?
Otherwise the story just about makes sense with some interesting pre-echoes of the Grantchester Mysteries. I didn't find it unputdownable but it made an agreeable bedtime read.
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Canvey Island Kindle Edition
'Runcie has captured the truth about love ... he is the simple chronicler of English post-war life, using irony and understatement to lay bare the pathos of ordinary lives ... Beautifully done' Sunday Telegraph 'A tender, intimate account of post-war England which left me both wistful and elated ... So engaging, so well-shaped and so unsparingly, generously truthful' Jim Crace 'Runcie's third novel is a funny, epic, moving story of Thameside folk ... Canvey Island is a beautifully observed, tragi-comic work' What's On 'Runcie writes with an excellent feeling for time and place, and, above all, the intensity of ordinary lives' Choice --This text refers to the paperback edition.
A story of post-war Britain through the lives of one family. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B0081V4AQU
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Paperbacks; 1st edition (1 June 2012)
- Language : English
- File size : 1187 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 321 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 422,713 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
4 out of 5
29 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries
Worth reading - just about.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 June 2018
One person found this helpful
Prosaic? MaybeReviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 June 2014
This is a well-observed account of life during the related decades, with sound characterisation. The themes make up for the lack of strength in the plot; but, then, what sort of strong plot would such prosaic lives offer? There's nothing sensational, just ordinary lives lived as best they can with mistakes and successes like anyone else's. I found its verisimilitude uncomfortable, but who wants to be complacent about real life, for that is what the author presents. It's rather sad because it makes one think that perhaps most lives don't make much of a difference. Nevertheless, it is the cumulative effect of all those ordinary lives that make the difference, and perhaps that is the main lesson to be learned from this book. Prepare to be interested, but not to be thrilled or intrigued, and think about your own life and what you do with it.
2 people found this helpful
A piece of social historyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 February 2015
A more serious book than the Grantchester series. It describes a way of life familiar to anyone who is a baby boomer and born just after World War 2. The historical events will jog memories long forgotten. The personal relationships however are contemporary and heartfelt. Descriptions of Canvey Island and coastline whilst setting the scene also remind us of the vulnerability of our coastline and the need to protect our environment. Martin's job is very much of today. I enjoyed the individual thoughts of each character which kept the pace up to the extent I couldn't wait to find out what happened to them all and finished the book at 3am! Recommended.
recent history brought to lifeReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 December 2014
I found this book interesting historically - I remember the east coast floods and I don't recall any other novel set in that period. Today's floods are terrible too but the post-war gloom and bleakness added to the misery then. Plot not totally convincing but good to see Runcie experimenting over so many genres.
Very well written, interesting history.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 May 2014
I enjoyed the writing and found it interesting. Some of the characters were not necessary to the story but i did enjoy the story which for the times was unusual.
One person found this helpful