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I see you haven't read my review yet. :) I found out that it's an allusion to Woolf's book. Her brother Thoby died in the war. She wrote Jacob's room with his death in mind. And she's present in the novel as well. I thought that was an interesting element. And it shows that it's a complex book, mixing fact and fiction.
Thanks for participating and I'm so glad you liked it. I didn't but still found it had great elements. But incest is a topic that makes me run and if a writer plays that card . . . Unless she/he has good reasons I will biased towards the book as a whole. I found it surprisingly readable. As Caroline D wrote in the comments - Life Class, the previous novel, and this should be read together. I didn't know that. Since you liked this you might like Life Class too.
After having read The Regeneration Trilogy, this was a bit of a repetition in places.


No, I'm sorry--I am still trying to catch up (move forward reading new stuff and then go back and read older posts as time allows), but I will be reading your post. I had a feeling I might be in the minority liking the book and so thought I would try and write my post without reading other reviews first. The incest theme was uncomfortable to read about--I wasn't quite sure where she was going with any of it at first--it all felt sort of directionless and without purpose really, but something just clicked along the way and I felt like I was seeing little connections that I liked (without necessarily liking the characters--if that makes sense). Interesting about the allusion to Virginia Woolf, so she did write it with a nod to her book. I can see where you would not like the story--I was going that route at first, too, but there is just something about it that intrigued me. I can't call it a favorite but I did like it. I plan on reading Life Class now, too. I started the first book of the Regeneration trilogy earlier this year and really must get back to it. I know that is really her best works, so it's good to know I have something good to look forward to a bit later!


This does sound very Jacob's Room-y and I am sure it must be on purpose. And I see from Caroline's comment that it is. I think I'll have to put this title on my TBR list!


Now that I have read Caroline's post properly, it is true that Jacob's Room is a reference for this one--I need to look up the Guardian review that talks about the book. Now I want to pick up Life Class which she wrote before this one and has the same characters. I thought it was an interesting read.

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