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The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood Hardcover – 1 May 2019
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About the Author
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster UK (1 May 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1471134547
- ISBN-13 : 978-1471134548
- Dimensions : 13.5 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Thankyou to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster UK Fiction and the author, Susan Elliot Wright, for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion. I first requested to read this novel because I was drawn both by the cover then the premise of the story. .I sit here now stunned having finished the whole book. Leah's story is so heartbreaking. I had to read this book in one sitting asI found I could not put it down until I reached the tragic conclusion. The characters were engaging and realistic and the storyline was beautifully written. Definitely well worth a read. I will certainly be reading more from this author
Top reviews from other countries
I’ve read some really heartbreaking, wonderful stories recently that have moved me to tears – but this is the novel that has run so close to some of my own early experiences as a mother (experiences that I have begun to talk about on this blog), that it gnawed at my soul, particularly the last third of the novel. I won’t lie, it is a tough read in terms of content, at least, it was for me, but I didn’t feel ‘triggered’, if that’s the correct term, I felt heard. That it wasn’t just me. That I’m not alone. I actually found some comfort in that.
The story is told in the first person narrative by Cornelia, or Leah as she is known, and it spans a dual time line, simply entitled as chapter headings; ‘Now’ and ‘Then’. It is clear from the start that something terrible has happened to Cornelia, and as the novel unfolds and Leah’s present becomes ever affected by her past, events begin to slowly piece together.
I loved that whilst reading I never really knew where the author was taking me. I guessed that certain events were going to happen – but I was never sure how it would play out. I was absolutely hooked, and quite frankly I made barely any notes during reading because I was so invested in the story I didn’t even think about tearing myself away long enough to write about what I was reading. I just wanted to feel.
Being inside the mind of Cornelia is the highlight of this novel, no other narrative voice could have done justice to the raw emotion she is feeling. The author creates a sense of internalised pain and isolation that is so close, almost to the point of feeling claustrophobic. I felt what she felt, and I was with her every step of the way. She is a wonderfully flawed character, but many of those flaws are a product of her tragic experiences.
In my opinion this is a novel that should be read, if not for the fantastic plot, then just for what it teaches about the darker side of motherhood. Absolutely outstanding.
The story is not an easy one to read and I was moved to tears throughout the book and often reflected upon the skills demonstrated by Susan Elliot Wright as a storyteller. Subtle and nuanced prose, the details and 'suggestions' made the book feel so real and therefore so powerful.
The main character of Leah has so many layers and provoked such a range of emotions from me as I read through the tragedies of her life - such clever characterisation. We could all know a Leah.
The subject matter of the book (without plot spoilers) was very painful to read but so important to explore.
The final paragraph of the story took my breath with its beauty and sadness and will stay with me for a long time. Same feeling as when I read the end of The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
Long story short- (very long story) Leah has whirlwind marriage to Adrian; both very much in love with each other. Leah has upsetting experiences with pregnancies. Adrian is killed in a car accident and Leah becomes obsessed with a little 3 years old boy, Ollie. Leah develops close friendship with the boy’s mum, Cassie and there’s a revelation.
From the start it’s obvious there’s something nasty gone on in the ‘then’ of Leah’s life, which is eventually revealed. It is also obvious that Leah suffers from a mental disorder- as the crows prove.
The book progresses from not bad to getting worse to downright stupid/boring. I couldn’t believe I was only half way through, at one point. Definitely not recommended. Don’t waste your money and time.