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This sounds like a great book! I wonder if Atonement was influenced by it at all.


Rebecca--It seems I read somewhere that Ian McEwan did indeed get inspiration from Hartley. I read Atonement when it first came out and loved it. I should really reread it now that I've read The Go-Between and compare the two. I've also heard Michael Frayn's Spies has a similar theme--also set during WWII. And, yes, I thought The Go-Between was really well done--I love his writing style, which is so very polished and elegant.


This is such a summery novel - I loved it. And I too can see similaries with Atonement and Spies. But I love the way this evokes the English countryside and the way of life of the upper classes.


Lovely review Danielle. I had seen the movie (Julie Christie, Alan Bates)years ago yet never read the book. After an interlibrary search they found me an English student's (limited) edition. I think I missed so much of his elegant prose that I had to have my own copy which arrived this week. Now I have started again and love it even more. Will be one of the top of of my 2010 list too.


I read this as a teenager and thought it was fantastic - the opening line in itself is enough to enthrall you. I've never tried any of his other novels, but I would like to one day. I must re-read this soon actually as I have started to forget most of the plot. Interesting with the Atonement parallels - I think McEwan borrowed a lot from Hartley.

Thomas at My Porch

I had never heard of Hartley before. This one sounds great and you did a great job describing the plot.


I've heard so many good things about this novel. I've had it on my Bookmooch wishlist for ages. I think I am just going to have to break down and buy a copy. Sure I could get a copy from the library but NYRBs look so pretty on the bookshelf.


It does have a lot in common with _Atonement_, and I read it after having fallen in love with _Atonement_ and wanting more of the English country manor settings. I recommend Hartley's _The Shrimp and the Anemone_, too. It's the first in a series about Eustace and Hilda, brother and sister. The way in which he draws characters is amazing.

Kristen M.

You've sold me on it! I'll be looking for this one soon.


Sounds really interesting! I'll have to check if our library has this book. I just read another novel published in the same series as The Go-Between Chaos and Night by Henry de Montherlant.



I'm glad you enjoyed this one - me too!


Verity--It does seem a perfect summer read and I'm glad I finished it when I did. It was such a well developed story and I loved the different layers to it--very interesting about the different classes and how Marian felt she couldn't be out in the open with any sort of relationship with Ted--how times have changed!
Catharina--I can't decide whether to try and see the movie or not. When I really love a book I am always afraid the movie won't live up to expectations. I'm glad you ordered a copy for yourself--it is very worth having and it is a book I am sure I will reread!
Rachel--I think McEwan must have been inspired by Hartley's novel. I'm curious to reread Atonement now as I've forgotten so much of the story and it would be interesting to compare them. And that first line is definitely one of the most memorable in literature.
Thomas--I wonder if he doesn't get read so much anymore? I think this is his most famous book, though I'd love to try some of his other works--he seems to have written quite a lot. And this is one I can heartily recommend!
Stefanie--It is well worth spending the money to own a new (lovely) NYRB copy. Sadly my copy was in my bookbag on one of the really rainy days we had and I got drenched, as did everything in my bag. It now has ugly water stains on the bottom and is all wrinkly. I was completely annoyed and have been contemplating buying a new copy, but so far have held off...
Nathalie--I really liked Atonement as well and love that particular setting and anything from the war periods, too! That was probably part of my attraction to the story, but even without that his writing is so elegant it's hard not to appreciate it. I've got the Eustace and Hilda trilogy from the library--are the other two books as good?
Kristen--I know you like British fiction, so I bet you will like this as well. It's one of the best stories I've read in a long time.
Tiina--Aren't those NYRB books lovely? I'm not familiar with the de Monterlant so will have to check it out. The Go-Between is definitely worth a read if you can get your hands on it. It seems the type of books that libraries will have!
Bookeywookey--I'm so glad I finally read this--I had it for so long with good intentions. And now I wonder why I waited so long?!

Simon T

I thought this book was brilliant - it's also one of very few that all four members of my family have read. I read Simonetta Perkins a couple of years ago, and was impressed by it too, though perhaps not to the same extent.


Simon--I love that your whole family read this, but it's such a remarkable book I think it would appeal to a variety of people. I think it would be hard to surpass The Go-Between, but I'd like to read Simonetta at some point. His prose style seems worth reading even if the story itself is not as good.

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