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The Battle For Christabel

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  159 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Rowena wants a baby. What she doesn't want is the baby's father. Yet five years after the birth of Christabel, Rowena is dead, tragically killed in a climbing accident. The battle for Christabel has begun...

With signature skill, Margaret Forster reveals the conflicting personal interests that lie behind each character’s claim on the child. Drawn from the perspectives of so
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by Vintage (Random House) (first published January 1st 1991)
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Kim
Apr 21, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it
Isobel's best friend, Rowena, wants a child but not the baby's father. She gets pregnant and has the child (Christabel) but, when her daughter is 4 years old, Rowena is killed in a tragic accident. Rowena's only remaining family comprises her mother (formidable but aged and living in sheltered accommodation) and her sister, Priscilla (a gifted flautist always travelling the world). Neither feels that they can take on responsibility for Christabel and nor does best friend Isobel, although she fee ...more
Diana
Jul 05, 2016 Diana rated it really liked it
Took a while to get into as it was written in a quite unusual style different to the other Margaret Forster book i read (diary of an ordinary woman) which I really enjoyed

Christabel is a little mixed race 5 year old and when her single white mum dies in an accident christabels aging middle class grandmother and her aunt decide it would be best if she is placed for adoption, her mothers childhood friend .who has known christabel all her life is charged with putting the wheels in motion. The famil
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Tanis
Aug 17, 2016 Tanis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you liked Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal I am sure you will like this too. The main character, Isobel, is much in the same vein as the the horrible friend in NoaS. Isobel is not a bad person, she's just so difficult to like, she doesn't do anything wrong but she's quite horrible to her 'friend' and its hard to remember she's only in her mid thirties at the start of the book. She comes across as a very bitter older woman. This doesn't make this a difficult read though, the story is gripping a ...more
Jean
Jan 10, 2014 Jean rated it liked it
This was a sad and frustrating story about what happens to a little girl when her single mother is killed in an accident at the early age of 36. There is a battle between social workers, the child's grandmother and aunt, and the mother's life-long friend who is the narrator of the book. I'm afraid there is no happy ending for anyone in "The Battle for Christabel".

Margaret Forster is an excellent writer and she certainly held my attention throughout the book, which read more like a sociological d
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Anne Blunsden
Dec 18, 2014 Anne Blunsden rated it really liked it
Christibel is orphaned. A huge furore breaks out when social services are given the job of securing her future. There is a clash of opinions about what is best for Christobel. The story is based on the 1980s Children's act. What is best for Christobel, where would she thrive best and given the conflict of interests how can a small child express what they would like to happen. Did they get it right? I don't think they did and I don't think they ever could. What do you think?
Sarah
Jul 27, 2011 Sarah added it
This book made me cross from the start as it seemed to give away the ending on the very first page. I spent most of the book wondering why I was reading it when I knew the ending. My last Margaret Forster I think.
Lynne
Sep 14, 2015 Lynne rated it it was amazing
An excellent offering by Margaret Forster describing ill-fated decisions, friendship and trying to beat the system.
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Margaret Forster was educated at the Carlisle and County High School for Girls. From here she won an Open Scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford where in 1960 she was awarded an honours degree in History.

From 1963 Margaret Forster worked as a novelist, biographer and freelance literary critic, contributing regularly to book programmes on television, to Radio 4 and various newpapers and magazin
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