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The Generation Game

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  236 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Philippa Smith is in her 40s and has a beautiful newborn baby girl. She also has no husband, and nowhere to turn. So she turns to the only place she knows: the beginning. Retracing her life, she confronts the daily obstacles that shaped her very existence. From the tragic events of her childhood abandonment, to the astonishing accomplishments of those close to her, Philipp ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Legend Press (first published July 1st 2011)
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Paula Vince
Feb 26, 2014 Paula Vince rated it really liked it
Philippa Smith is a first time mother in her early 40s. While the hospital staff seem concerned about her baby, for a reason she can't initially get out of them, she decides to go over her own life story for the baby girl's benefit. As she relives events, she clarifies in her own head which were the most important things and who were the most meaningful people in her life.

As Philippa was born just 5 years before me, I loved the reference to the historical events which helped shape her life. Her
...more
Joanne
Sep 06, 2012 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Ooh, I sit here torn over the rating to give this charming little book, 4 or 5, wanting perhaps to go somewhere in the middle, but then I realise - I stayed up half the night to finish it, I have been in turns laughing out loud and brought to tears, and it has been a wonderful nostalgia trip for me, through the Blue Peter and Generation Game years of my youth. So 5 it is!

The Generation Game was flagged up to me as a recommendation based on previous books I have read, but I have to admit, when it
...more
Parden
May 21, 2015 Parden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
EIN BUCH WIE EINE WARME UMARMUNG...

Philippa heißt die Heldin dieses Buches. Aber von Heldin kann hier gar keine Rede sein. Mit über 40 Jahren liegt sie gerade im Krankenhaus, ihr neugeborenes Baby im Arm, das, noch namenlos, ihr wie ein Wunder erscheint, ihr ganzes Glück. In diesen Tagen im Krankenhaus erzählt sie ihrem kleinen Baby die ganze Geschichte ihres eigenen Lebens, angefangen von ihrem ersten Atemzug im Jahre 1965.
Wie sie, trotzig mit der wirkungslosen Spirale ihrer blutjungen Mutter i
...more
Ina Solomon
Mar 09, 2013 Ina Solomon rated it it was ok
I struggled through this book, the characters where not very well described so that I had to stop and remember who they were, also the ending was a bit `soap opera` for me, I prefer books that are more realistic. However, there were things that touched my emotions and for that I gave it 2 stars. ...more
Claire
Aug 29, 2015 Claire rated it liked it
The style and tone are reminiscent of Behind the Scenes at the Museum era Kate Atkinson.

I really enjoyed this most of the way through and was thinking 4* but then the ending bugged me so I have downgraded it.
It is a light, jolly read, with nostalgia value for anyone who remembers 70s Britain and its TV.
However, towards the end, the narrator starts doing random things for no apparent reason and I gradually found it less and less realistic. The ending is far too neat. There's a twist which doesn'
...more
Jenni V.
Jan 06, 2014 Jenni V. rated it liked it
I would like to thank NetGalley and Legend Press for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.
This book is written in first person, narrated by Philippa, and she is very matter-of-fact. At first I thought she was detached, which made me sad when reading her flashbacks because it showed a world weariness no young child should have; she had already faced adult issues (death, abandonment, etc.) and accepted them as life. But as I read further and realized this is a British novel, I won
...more
Janet Gogerty
Jul 20, 2014 Janet Gogerty rated it it was amazing
I bought this on Kindle soon after it was recommended to me and it was a good choice. I already had some idea of the structure, two time lines tied to real events and British television programmes, set in London and Torquay, Devon. But it does not matter if you have not lived in this country or seen the programmes, it is the characters that stand out and particularly the child's eye view of events amusing, confusing and tragic. The two time lines merge, the plot more complex than expected, but a ...more
Andrew
Sep 07, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it
An interesting premise: the book starts with a woman in hospital talking to her newborn baby girl. She starts to tell the story of her life, beginning with her own birth in St Thomas’s Hospital in 1965 and going right up to the present day.

“I’ll tell you my story. Our story. Because there’s nothing worse than wondering. Knowing is always better.”

It works well to begin with the end, and to return to it regularly through the telling of everything that led up to that point. It builds anticipation a
...more
Elizabeth Ducie
Sep 20, 2013 Elizabeth Ducie rated it it was amazing
At the start of The Generation Game, it is 2006 and the central character Philippa has just given birth to her first child. We do not know whether Philippa is married, who the baby’s father is or whether they are still together. We do know, gradually, that the baby is unwell and as Philippa waits to find out whether her child will survive, she tells her own story in flashbacks.

We hear of her birth in a London hospital, to Helena, an unmarried mother who tries her best but is overwhelmed by havi
...more
Linda
Sep 27, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
I really enjoyed this book. The author and I have a mutual friend, who promoted the book on Facebook. When I saw that she had been published a second time, I figured I'd try this, her first book. (Besides, it was discounted!) And I really enjoyed it. It is close to "chick lit" - perhaps because there is humour in the writing - but better than that I think. Her voice is light and funny but intelligent (much like our mutual friend), and so is an easy read. Yet there are things to think about here ...more
Samantha Bones
Feb 20, 2014 Samantha Bones rated it really liked it
The book tells the story of Philippa born in London 1965. It follows her through her rollercoaster of a life dipping into all of those events and trends that marked the lives of those of us who grew up in the UK in the 70s and 80s, even quoting a few Smiths lyrics along the way.

A great yarn with well-developed and likeable characters and with some unexpected twists and turns. I found this book hard to put down and my family came close to going hungry on a few nights whilst I was reading it.
Georgina
I suppose that seeing a mention of Larry Grayson in the blurb isn't really a great reason to choose a novel, but I did love Larry Grayson! This novel was likeable, but not earth-shattering. It captured the times well, but not, for me, so much the sense of place. There was a sweetness to it that the world could do with more of. Not a romping yarn, but a nice gentle trot alongside some good people with every end firmly gathered up into a neat little twist at the end.
Helen
Nov 28, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it
This reminded me of lots of other books I've read and liked (including Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit). I liked the characters, the story, the writing style....my only criticism is the ending, which I thought was a bit too all-tied-up-and-OH-what-a-coincidence. I thought it could also have been a bit shorter (some tighter editing needed). But it's a first novel, I'll definitely be looking out for more by this author.
Ann
Feb 25, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it
I liked the way the narrator told the story to the baby. Philippa has an unusual childhood and she tells her newborn daughter all about it. How she will be a better mother, a better provider. Philippa and the people around her neighborhood are ordinary people, living ordinary lives but she does put life and color into them. A nice read.
Melanie Briggs
May 22, 2014 Melanie Briggs rated it really liked it
I loved this book. For me as I was born in the early 60s, this book brought back a lot of memories. I liked the story too, and also the twist at the end which really took me by surprise.

Arguably it is not the best written book in the world, but it is an easy and enjoyable read. I would recommend it.
Fareen
Jul 11, 2014 Fareen rated it really liked it
The book is a lovely and a fast read...
At the end of the book I did go into a moment of contemplation on subjects that interest me: boundaries and characteristics of love, and relationships and even triggered some meditations on the drama of life. Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Angela Kitchen
This is the second book I've read with this viewpoint and I just don't get one with it. A sort of monologue style. But the story was good, though you didn't get much sense of character with the writing style.
Cat
Jan 21, 2016 Cat rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good read. As a Brit brought up on some of the things she discusses it was nice to read too. Some good twists and turns . Would make a good train or beach read.
Julie Watkins
Oct 21, 2014 Julie Watkins rated it really liked it
well written. liked that the main character was of similar age to me and also had a baby late I'm life. interesting going through the years. enjoyed
Cathie Strover
Feb 21, 2016 Cathie Strover rated it liked it
Shelves: 70s-tv, torquay
I liked this because it is set in Torquay and is beautifully evocative of 70s TV whilst also being a lovely coming of age story
Nathalie Chong
Sep 30, 2015 Nathalie Chong rated it it was ok
Completely unbelievable, no depth, didn't care about characters, too contrived, too rushed
Clare Harvey
Oct 12, 2015 Clare Harvey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nostalgia running through it like seaside rock, and a fabulous twist at the end.
Anita Jefferies
Nov 30, 2014 Anita Jefferies rated it really liked it
Enjoyable. You have to be British and over forty to get the references!
Sophie Houston
Aug 15, 2015 Sophie Houston rated it really liked it
Well done and very engaging, but so littered with punctuation/spelling errors that it caused pain ...
Linda
Mar 03, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Every minute of it.
Rebecca Parsons
May 05, 2014 Rebecca Parsons rated it liked it
A nice, funny read. Not a show stopper but enjoyable all the same
Kym
Aug 23, 2015 Kym rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled
An atypical telling of what at first looks like a typical story that expands in all sorts of unexpected ways. I really enjoyed this. The generation game is a double-edged and apt title, named for both the show but also the conundrum that is Philippa's family. The other thing I loved is that Philippa's voice throughout the book is very 'real'- kind of flawed and disjointed rather than being scrubbed likably shiny. I'll definitely be looking for more Duffy.
Elaine
The writing style was quite unique and I really enjoyed it. The beginning of the book was so sweet because it was written from a new-born's point of view.
I didn't love the characters and I found Philippa hard to understand at times. She made a controversial decision in her 30's but I don't understand her motivation.
This is a lovely book and I would recommend it for a light, enjoyable read.
Clo
Jan 17, 2014 Clo rated it really liked it
This book isn't my usual type but I really enjoyed it, the twist. at the end was fabulous
Alison
Sep 22, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this, partly because the storyline completely took my by surprise. I was expecting something a bit chick lite but in Davy this takes quite a philosophical look at what family is and why blood isn't necessarily thicker than water. It crackled along at a fair pace and there was plenty to keep me guessing. Very enjoyable but quite thought provoking too.
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Sophie is the winner of the 2010 Luke Bitmead Bursary and the Yeovil Literary Prize. She currently lives in Teignmouth, Devon with her husband and three children. Sophie's debut novel The Generation Game is published July 2011. The novel is inspired by Sophie's childhood growing up in a sweet shop in Torquay. Sophie's second novel This Holey Life is published in August 2012.
More about Sophie Duffy...

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