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The Double Shadow

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  244 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Arnold Ruben has created a memory machine, a utopia housed in a picture palace, where the happiest memories replay forever, a haven in which he and his precious daughter can shelter from the war-clouds gathering over 1937 Britain. But on the day of her seventeenth birthday Amaryllis leaves Warlock Hall and the world she has known and wakes to find herself in a desolate and ...more
Hardcover, 389 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Orion
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(showing 1-30 of 884)
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Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Author: Sally Gardner
Published: 01/09/2012
Recommended for: fans of second world war books

I received this book for free through GoodReads FirstReads competitions. I thought that this book was really brilliantly written, by an extremely talented author. This book can most certainly pull on your heartstrings when you least expect it, it is a tale of two halves that will both capture your attention and make you feel lots of different emotions all at once. You get the amazing, heart capturing love st
Serendipity Reviews
Nov 14, 2011 Serendipity Reviews rated it it was amazing
This book really took me by surprise. I didn't realise I would love it quite as much as I did. From the very first chapter, I felt my spine tingling as the picture palace came to life and became a character in its own right. I wanted to follow Amaryllis into the picture house too. From the beginning the picture palace, seemed so magical, like an extra from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is only as you progress through the story that you realise you have been wearing rose tinted glasses an ...more
Mar 24, 2013 Lucy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The double shadow is very odd.
I love Sally Gardner, she is one of my favourite authors and I have read all of her books, but this is my least favourite.
The story is set just before the second world war and is from the perspective of Ezra Pascoe, who is a working class boy. He ends up going with his mother to work at the Rubens house where he has to play with Amaryllis Ruben, which is sort of like Pip with Estella in great expectations. Anyway Amaryllis's father builds a memory machine and sends
LH Johnson
This book is a uniquely challenging enigma to review,possessing of both heart-breaking beauty and ferociously complex and dense text. It is a book of two halves and I think, a book that doesn't really start with page 1 nor end with page 384. It is a book that I would describe as avant-garde both structurally and textually. It is, as you may gather, a rather complicated experience.

The Double Shadow is the story of Amaryllis Reuben and how her father has built a machine, for her, that also possess
Apr 09, 2015 Suze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amaryllis is a troubled teenager. She's sixteen years old and has no memory of the first eight years of her life. Her father is strict from afar as he isn't around much and her mother passed away when Amaryllis was a young girl. After a disastrous night Amaryllis is being kicked out of boarding school. Her father decides to hire someone to tutor her instead of sending her away again. Her new teacher is very smart, but Amaryllis has no interest in the lessons. Her father hires Ezra, the son of th ...more
Nov 23, 2011 Misty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know when you agree to review a book you wouldn't normally read, then you get worried starting it that you'll hate it and have to go back and say you couldn't read it? Yeah, I got a little case of that when I started this, I feel silly now though! Literally within a few pages I was engaged in the book, before I knew it I was 130 pages in and it was 2am! I really was swept into the book and had no trouble getting into the era it was set into or getting used to the way the characters talked. I ...more
SJH (A Dream of Books)
I'd previously read and enjoyed Sally Gardner's two historical novels, 'The Red Necklace' and 'The Silver Blade', so had been looking forward to her new offering immensely. This book is very different to anything else she's written but in a good way. Trust me, in a really good way! I enjoyed it so much that even after having finished reading it over a week ago, I still can't stop thinking about it. The plot is so detailed and complex that you'll want to pick it up and re-read it again as soon as ...more
Mar 19, 2012 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Double Shadow is about memory: the way it shapes you, makes you and sometimes breaks you. It follows the lives of two families in the lead up to World War II, each haunted by memory in different ways. The Rubens are rich but miserable, thanks largely to Arnold Ruben's overpowering obsession with creating a memory machine, a device that will allow the user to wipe away bad memories and live forever in happy ones. His daughter, Amaryllis, is deeply affected by the fact that she herself has no ...more
Aug 31, 2011 Teresa rated it it was amazing
"The Double Shadow" is Sally Gardner's latest novel, targeted at older teens and one of the first releases from Orion's new young adult imprint, Indigo. I've read and loved most of Sally's previous books including the excellent "I, Coriander" and "The Silver Blade" as well as her wonderful books for younger children which are reread frequently in our household. This novel is a new venture for Sally as it is aimed at an older age group and is, in the author's own words, " a family sci-fi saga".

Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Published: 03/11/2011
Author: Sally Gardner
Recommended for: fans of YA novels

I won this book in the GoodReads FirstReads competitions.

I thought that this book was an amazing book to read! Right from the first page it got me hooked on it, I found it to be incredible hard to put down, it kept drawing me back to it. The description in the book paint the most amazing image into the readers mind, the writing style of Sally Gardner is outstanding I cannot fault it at all.
The characters stood out and
Wendy (Little Bookness Lane)
From the first page you step into a whole new ethereal world created by Sally Gardner. We are introduced to a young girl who has found herself in a surreal environment, a room with a flickering green light which prevents her from remembering, her memories are all but gone. Where is she? Nothing makes sense, but she has an inkling that something is very, very wrong.

Amaryllis is searching for something that is missing from her life. Without an identity or memory of her past will she find it?

Set du
Jan 11, 2015 Arila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Es una historia extraña, un poco confusa durante la primera mitad de la novela. Aún no sé si he llegado a enterarme de todo. Quizá también se deba a que estos días tengo la cabeza en otra cosa y me cuesta un poco concentrarme. En cualquier caso no ha sido hasta la segunda mitad que ha conseguido captar mi atención. Desde luego es una novela interesante, pero no me ha llegado a gustar tanto como Las tres caras de la luna.
My opinion on this book is a bit torn..I loved it, I think it was ingenious. beautifully written but I do think the 'memory machine' parts were pretty confusing and the plot was confuddled.For a start I think there were too many problems ..the rape, Arnold Ruben's messed up childhood, the death of Amaryllis' mother, fathers with war issues, war widows..too many problems (&characters) to concetrate on.

Firstly I loved that this book reminded me of Evelyn Waugh, I loved how it captured a real
Martin Turner
A charming read. This starts off a little confusing, or even perhaps surreal. The concept of a dream machine is explored in this young adult thriller set around the time of World War II in England. There is a touch of the mad scientist about some of the characters, but it all adds to the magic that comes alive off the pages of this book. Some of the concepts of the dream machine were a little hard to comprehend, but overall this was a good read with a happy ending, or was it? Some larger than li ...more
Jun 20, 2015 Ellie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Memories make us who we are, good and bad. Should we be able to pick and choose and will bad memories always be stronger than the good?

There are lots of excellent ideas and some beautiful writing in The Double Shadow however I felt I had to struggle through the first half to get there. At the start Amaryllis is portrayed as selfish and cruel, a thoroughly unlikable privileged young girl, though with enough hints to say this isn’t how she is deep down. She is raped, her memory wrapping round the
The first time I read a Sally Gardner-novel, I was left feeling absolutely breathless and with one thought: ‘I want to be able to string words together with such grace, too!’ I, Coriander was one of the most influential novels of my youth. So, naturally, when I heard that she had written a novel for a more mature audience, I bought it and devoured it. The double shadow managed, as expected, to leave me spell-bound.

The double shadow has two time-lines. The first time-line takes place in an ever-
Beth Kemp
Beautiful, haunting and evocative, this is a real book to lose yourself in. Recommended for teens upwards.
This novel is extraordinary. Lyrical, elusive and utterly compelling, it draws you and hooks you long before you have any real sense of exactly what is happening.

When I first read the info about this book, it made me think of Angela Carter - probably because of the surreal machine plan and the uncanny double idea hinted at in the title. That comparison was borne out in the reading, due to th
Nov 18, 2011 Mieneke rated it it was amazing
What intrigued me about this book was it's connections to Eliot's The Wasteland, which I read at university. I found it fascinating and I wondered about its echoes in The Double Shadow. While there are some literal references – Amaryllis calls the place outside in the picture palace the wasteland – other references are less literal but still recognisable, such as death by drowning, rape, the transience of memories, life and love and the repercussions of trauma. And those are just the things I pi ...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)
I've just finished The Double Shadow and have been left with this feeling that I've read a very clever book but yet I can't quite put into words how I feel about it and it might be one of those that I have to keep thinking about for a while.

For me this book had two parts. During the first part the reader meets Amaryllis a lonely teenage girl who lives in a creepy old house with her father. She is on the brink of being chucked out of her latest school and quite confused in herself as she is unabl
Sep 05, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
I’ve loved Sally Gardner’s books for a younger audience – I Coriander, The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade – but I really struggled with the first 80 or so pages of this one aimed firmly at the older YA market. Generally unlikeable characters, a rather plodding style, and I was on the verge of throwing the towel in. But then the memory machine made its appearance, and the whole book soared. Others have said how this book is all about relationships, and it really is – not only the love affair b ...more
Sep 05, 2012 Kulsuma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Double Shadow is the perfect mix of magic, mystery and adventure against the backdrop of World War II. Amaryllis Ruben is a troubled seventeen year old who has been expelled from one too many boarding schools. Though she hates it, Amaryllis has no choice but to return home to her distant father. Amaryllis can’t remember much of her childhood and her father with whom she was supposedly once very close with which leads to her anger and frustration.

Her father, Arnold Ruben, has created a memory
Tom Easton
Oct 20, 2012 Tom Easton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm deeply impressed with Sally Gardner's prose, particularly as I recently learned she's dyslexic. I read Maggot Moon recently and was blown away, reading it in two sittings.

I didn't find The Double Shadow quite as gripping, hence just 4 stars but I think it's a very clever book and a wonderfully original idea.

Amaryllis is a young woman born into great wealth who nonetheless knows nothing but tragedy and pain as a young girl. Though initially proud and full of love for her father, This changes
May 30, 2013 Smithjamest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner is a epic-ally brilliant book. It's as good as her other three, I Coriander, The Red Necklace and the Silver Blade (which I'm staring at as I write this!). A mish mash of detective, romance and thriller this book is beautifully written. Gardner's details and descriptions are gripping and vivid. It was a real joy to read. I was honestly enthralled by the first chapter.

It's set before and during the Second World War, but don't worry it's not really about the war,
Nov 24, 2011 Zarina rated it really liked it
It's 1937 when we first meet Amaryllis Ruben; a troubled teenager that runs away from school and endures something terrible before she's kicked out. As her father comes to take her home the reader starts to sense there is more to the rebellious act Amaryllis puts up. The distance she keeps between herself and her father isn't perhaps all due to the stage in her life she's in.

Amaryllis at first comes across as a cold and often cruel character, particularly to those trying to get closer to her (M
Alicia Papp
A strange, mysterious and intriguing tale about memory, family, war and a really weird machine. Not sure if Sally Gardner pulled this off 100% - the ending felt a little rushed after the long, slow build up - and the love that Ezra had for Amaryllis didn't really make sense (?). But I really enjoyed the strange premise, enigmatic characters and the (mostly)lovely writing.
3 and 1/2 stars.
May 17, 2014 Cicely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book whilst ill with a fever and as I have not re-read it since I am not sure whether 'the double shadow' was indeed a very odd book or whether my fever made it seem so.
Claire Meadows
Disconnected, overly complicated - I didn't make it to the end. A waste of a wonderful range of characters - I adored Amaryllis Ruben and would have liked to see the energy behind these characters diverted into a different story.
Apr 18, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought of giving this to a grandchild based on the description. Nope. Late teens maybe. Sci fi meets romance novel in actuality. Blah overall.
This was OK to start with but didn't really grip me at all and had moments I didn't think I would finish. Not the best book but OK if you want something different.
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Free Books, .99 &...: UK giveaway: The Double Shadow 1 5 Nov 18, 2011 04:24AM  
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Sally Gardner grew up and still lives in London. Being dyslexic, she did not learn to read or write until she was fourteen and had been thrown out of several schools, labeled unteachable, and sent to a school for maladjusted children. Despite this, she gained a degree with highest honors at a leading London art college, followed by a scholarship to a theater school, and then went on to become a ve ...more
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