The Children's Book
A spellbinding novel, at once sweeping and intimate, that spans the Victorian era through the World War I years, and centers around a famous children's book author and the passions, betrayals, and secrets that tear apart the people she loves.
When Olive Wellwood's oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a t...more
Three days after finishing the audiobook version of this novel, I’m still partly in the detailed and intricate world Byatt created. I didn’t want the book to end and I miss the characters.
A saga about the lives of its inter-related characters between 1895 and 1919, the novel concerns itself with the history of England and to a lesser extent Germany during that period. It deals with subjects including Fabian socialism, the Arts and Crafts movement, neo-paganism, the anarchist movement, education...more
Not even at the halfway point yet, but I am so baffled and dismayed. I love Byatt (loved Possession like everyone else, but I schooled myself to love the Frederica Potter quartet and other novels too), this book is all about topics I love, and so it totally should be my jam, as the kids say, and....instead it's like the dire moment in Little Women when Meg wails about how the jelly won't jell.
I think the biggest problem is the characters - som...more
It describes the creative process (principally writing, puppetry and pottery) in gloriously vivid detail, as it relates to some Edwardian families, but at other times reads more...more
Her cast of cha...more
The English formed an impression of conspiratorial secrets, partly because the only words they understood were the names of the recently assassinated French President, Carnot, and the guillotined anarchist, Vaillant, who had thrown a nail-bomb into the Chamber of Deputies.
Marionettes, by contrast, are creatures of the upper air, like elves, like sylphs, who barely touch the ground. They dance in geometric perfection in a world more intense, less hobbledeho...more
Avevo adorato la Byatt di Possession, perciò, quando ho saputo che questo nuovo romanzo era all’altezza del precedente, l’ho prontamente acquistato. In inglese, però: i 7 euro della versione originale contro i 25 dell’edizione Einaudi mi sembrano una giustificazione sufficiente.
Ebbene, questo romanzo non è all’altezza di Possession, ma resta comunque un buon romanzo.
Siamo in piena età vittoriana e Olive Wellwood è una scrittrice di storie per bambini. La sua numerosa famiglia sembra un nido...more
I chose to take this title because it was well reviewed, and even on Goodreads had achieved pretty high ratings. I could see the intensity of the writing after just a few pages, and the ambitiousness of the scope of the novel is undeniable. In fact, I can't deny that the book is a huge writing achievement, and its selection by the Booker Judges is not surprising as a result.
The book takes place in England between 1895 and 1919. It criss-crosses Europe following the family fortunes of the Wellwoods, the Cains and the Fludds and a host of vibrant subsidiary characters. Olive Wellwood is...more
This is a Family Saga, only covering many intertwined families and friends rather than many generations. The detail of British history (the Victorian Era, Fabianism, pottery, children's books, etc.) is Byatt's exacting best, giving the reader places to pause as the plot moves forward. The characters are all complex; some you start...more
Byatt's intellect is astounding with a vocabulary that expands the mind with its scope. In interviews she says she goes to bed with Shakespeare and believes metaphysically only in Wallace Stevens. When so much of the world's...more
Well, first, it's a slow-read. It's been quite a while since I've read a book so slowly. Not because it has taken me a long time to read it, but because it has a very special rhythm (or pace, if you want). When I think of the plot, two images appear in my mind. First, when you soak a piece of paper into something liquid (say water or ink) and then it starts spreading all over. In this book you start with a family, the Wellwoods and Philip Warren. And then you...more
But now, after giving myself a couple of weeks to think about it, I'm left feeling that it has the same flaws for this reader as did Possession: too emotionally detached, even cold; t...more
It takes a group of modern - free thinkers and follows their lives. We meet the children (I think there were 20 all together!) and watch them grow, meet the adults and watch them diminish...more
As a novel, it would get a lower rating.
I was very interested when first read the reviews, as it was about the likes of E. Nesbit, and her crowd of socialists, anarchists, suffragettes. I have always loved that woman!
This is usually the part of the review where I'd tell you what The Children's Book is about. the summary GoodReads gives you up at the top of the pa...more
But when it comes to art, at least, there...more
The novel has been described as sweeping, and maybe just this once, Byatt has written an overly sweeping book that spins so much time th...more
The Children's Book is a sprawling, absorbing family epic, stretching from the late Victorian era through the Edwardian and ending just after World War I. Olive Wellwood is a children's book author who lives with her husband Augustus and their seven children at their beautiful country home, the center o...more
|21st Century Lite...: 12/13 The Children's Book. Beginnings. Chapters 7-9||3||7||6 hours, 26 min ago|
|21st Century Lite...: 12/13 The Children's Book. The Golden Age Chapters 16-22||4||4||17 hours, 56 min ago|
|21st Century Lite...: 12/13 The Children's Book. Beginnings. Chapters 1-6||19||27||18 hours, 42 min ago|
|21st Century Lite...: 12/13 The Children's Book - General Discussion, No Spoilers||6||18||Dec 03, 2013 08:20PM|
|21st Century Lite...: 12/13 The Children's Book. The Golden Age Chapters 10-15||1||4||Dec 03, 2013 12:05AM|
|21st Century Lite...: Placeholder for||3||17||Dec 01, 2013 04:04PM|
|21st Century Lite...: December 2013 Open Pick Read has been chosen||1||41||Nov 18, 2013 09:35AM|