A Whistling Woman (The Frederica Quartet #4)
A Whistling Woman portrays the antic, thrilling, and dangerous period of the late ‘60s as seen through the eyes of a woman whose life is forever changed by her times.
Frederica Potter, a smart, spirited 33-year-old single mother, lucks into a job hosting a groundbreaking television talk show based in London. Meanwhile, in her native Yorkshire where her lover is involved in...more
The book describes several parallel events: the merging of the Children of Joy and the Spirit's Tigers (two ...more
My only real complaint is that Byatt doesn't show what happens when the police break up the demonstration at the variously titled NYU or UNY (North Yorkshire University). She's led us to despise the spiritualist, romantic, medievalist, Tolkienite excesses of the late 60s American/European student movement, while, yes, complicating matters somewhat by witnessing to its responsibility for the incipient animal liberation movement and cui bono critiques of reason. But when the students ...more
This was just not what I want to read right now. As a book of a very particular history of late 60's thinking and society it is thought-provoking and insightful, perhaps. I wanted to read because it would give some insight into the time, the time I was conceived and know relatively little about. I found Byatt's writing less than appealing though, she does not write cleanly and as precisely as I like an author to do (when it comes to prose I am a short story reader at heart, ...more
However, I find the elaborate description of a religious leader maniac somewhat too much! It reminds me too much of the stream-of-consciousness passages used in Modernist writing which, as everyone knows, gives no plot. The characters in the book are taken to the realm of parrody, mirroring Fredericka's TV shows.
As usual, there are hidden things one can discover for ones ...more
While there is much to admire Byatt's writing I don't think I have ever come across a novelist as keen to show off their research - not an ounce of wasted effort as everything from snails, zygotes and psychiatry gets more than a mention while a ...more
'That isn't the end. We don't know everything.'
'What's a real end?' said Frederica. 'The end is always the most unreal bit...'
It feels as though the series could continue on, is my initial thought on reaching the end of it.
Some of the other reviews I've read seem to hate on Dr Byatt for what they perceive as her crapping all over the free-spiritedness of the sixties, when in fact, if they'd been paying attention, she's really having a go at a lot of the intellectual laziness that was endemic i...more
Frederica and Leo are still living with Agatha and Saskia - comfortably post Frederica & Nigel's divorce. Frederica has fallen into a career in television - almost accidentally and works on a series with Wilkie, and occasionally, Alexander. In the first book, The Virgin In The Garden, a teena ...more
I admi ...more
Her latest, "A Whistling Woman," completes a tetralogy, meaning a fair number of us already feel intimidated. The series began 25 years ago with "The Virgin in the Garden," which introduced Frederica Potter, then a precocious t ...more
The second time I read this series - perhaps because I started at the begin ...more
From the Publisher
"A Whistling Woman opens in the late 1960s, as the world begins to split, and as Frederica - the spirited heroine of the novel - falls almost by accident into a career in television in London. Tumultuous events in her home county of Yorkshire threaten to change her life and the lives of those she loves." Meanwhile, near the university, where the scientists Luk and Jacquelin ...more
Reading Byatt always opens me up historically and culturally, not to mention that I always feel compelled to read more great works of literature while I'm doing so in an effort to truly un ...more
the overall tension reminded me of the movie Strawdogs which might have made the book more unsettling. I'm insisting that my ...more
The conclusion , as a result of far too many intricately detailed and academic tangents, felt rushed and unsatisfactory.
There's no denying Byatt's erudition in many diverse matters, however there's a fine line ...more