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3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  164 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Don and Louise's eighteen-year-old daughter Miranda has died in a sailing accident. While Louise takes steps to move on with her life, Don cannot come to terms with the chain of events that led to her death. Instead, he is determined to bring someone to account. The surviving children handle the loss of their sister better than their parents, but what they can't handle is ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Vintage (first published January 22nd 2007)
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Sep 15, 2012 Norah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Arthur Anderson
Margaret Forster writes fiction that is convincingly, disturbingly real, rooted in the experiences of ordinary lives. As in Carol Shields’s Unless, this novel takes a heartbreaking look at a mother’s anguish.

Over is a novel about what happens after a tragedy in a family. Not the tragedy itself but its aftermath; what’s left when the tide recedes and it’s over. A daughter has died, suddenly, shockingly, and the different ways in which her parents respond to the tragedy, and how this affects the o
Not for me - we read this at my book group and there was a 4 to 1 against the novel sadly for my friend who loves it - just goes to show we all have different expectations and preferences for our reads. The premise of the story is quite interesting - a woman picking up the pieces of her life in middle age following the death of her daughter in a boating accident - but it is quite impersonal and dreary at best. I felt nothing, no sypmathy for the main character, her remaining children and estrang ...more

This was the first book I'd read by the prolific Ms Forster, and I have to confess, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The author has a beautiful use of words that just carries you along, gradually absorbing the facts as they are presented and simultaneously empathising with the struggles of the bereaved family. To be honest, not a lot happens, but I respect that the author therefore had the sense to make this a fairly short book (200 pgs), not putting us through unnecessa
I've never read any Margaret Forster before but I stumbled across this novel online and liked the blurb, so bought the audiobook. Within minutes of turning on my ipod, I knew I was in the best hands. Forster writes beautifully - her prose has that easy-going simplicity of tone that only a consummate writer can assume. Her descriptions are concise and unfailing accurate; her characters utterly believable.

But what really impressed me was the depth and subtlety of Forster's characterisation, and th
While I didn't particularly like or feel sympathy for the central character of this novel, Forster truly brings people and their situations to life. I really believe what she's telling me. I hear all the quirks and loopholes in her narrator's account. Forster doesn't seem to set up a plot to resolve it - she sets it up to use it to show us how people work - how they think, feel, communicate, fall apart and pull themselves together. There are little slices of life between each and every page of t ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire

I think I ought to start keeping track of all the Miranda's I find in books. There are many more of them in fiction than there are in real life.

The Miranda in this book is the eighteen year old daughter of the protagonist, and I confess that I thought the book might be a bit of a tough read when the jacket copy told me that this Miranda got killed in a sailing accident. Tough just because of the naming coincidence with my daughter rather than just because of the death of a child. All Forster's

Jan 27, 2014 Mew rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I am constantly surprised by Margaret Forster as I always anticipate not enjoying her books [I think the covers and how they are described often betray the actual content of the novels]. I really liked this - the approach of looking at the aftermath of a tragedy on a family and how everyone deals with things differently seemed realistic but also made a great story too.
Quite an insightful and very sad book. After loosing a twin daughter/sister to a sailing accident the balance of the family is utterly destroyed by each one's different grief reaction. There is a hole in the family and it seems irreparable.
a very compelling account of grief and how a family copes with it.
I enjoyed Forster's story of how Don and Lou and their two children coped with the tragic accident which cost the life of one of their children/siblings. It very much reminded me of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina:
"All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".
In Over, each family member is unhappy in their own way and their coping strategy is also a very individual one.
Dale Harcombe
Interesting yet somehow not entirely gripping exploration of how a family deals with grief over a death. Mother, father, brother and twin sister each have their own way of coping, or not as the case may be, with Miranda's death. I usually like Margaret Forster's books. I have to admit to being a little disappointed with the ending of this one but perhaps that was the only way it could end. I'd be curious to hear what others thought.
I was rereading this book for my reading group, and raced through it. Very interesting to consider it having just read some rigorous non-fiction by the author. Found it incredibly gripping (and very sad) - would be very interested to know if it reflects events in the author's life or not but it's certainly a book that is still gripping on second reading and that you go on thinking about.
I didn't dislike this book enough to stop reading it but to be honest I did not care at all what happened. I did not feel anything for the characters and felt no emotion from the writing even though it is a novel about grief. I felt it was written in a very off hand way. I hated all the parts when the main character was teaching and I was glad when I was finished it!
I wasn't going to finish it, but thought hey might as well. It wasn't writen horribly, but it does go clunk a lot and it doesn't really come to any conclusion, nor does it feel very realistic, but I wouldn't know.

It seemed to drone on and on, wouldn't advise anyone on reading it, unless your bored, it's only slightly better than some other crap out there!
A beautifully observed, quiet novel about recovering after the loss of a child. Forster references Carol Shields's 'Unless' during the course of the novel and there are some similarities between the two books. This novel is not as compelling as 'Private Papers' or 'Have the men had enough?' but definitely worth a read.
I really enjoyed this book but was disappointed by the ending. I was expecting a different ending as the story seemed to be moving towards a revelation that her account of events and her behaviour weren't entirely realistic. I was expecting a twist. Rereading the ending, it works well enough in a low-key way. Life goes on.
Jun 19, 2009 Denise rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Denise by: Lucy
Very disappointed with this book. I found the main character unreadable and therefore didn't warm to her, and couldn't really sympathise with her situation. The husband and other children felt two dimensional and I found the whole thing a drag. Wouldn't have finished if it hadn't been a book group read. Turgid.
Observation into how different family members deal with grief. Read it around Xmas, probably not the best time to read it, quite depressing at times. Found the husband and the daughter to be very selfish....expecting the mother to behave in certain ways when it suited them...the story did drag at times...
Sarah Harkness
Always readable...and so hard to write about a parent's grief, the unimaginable pain...I just wasn't sure the ending was satisfactory? unreliable narrator, or did I just rush it, thus missing something, in the hope of a much more satisfactory conclusion? I read too fast sometimes!
I enjoyed reading this book. The way it was told from Louise's point of view allowed you to share her experiebces as well as giving an insight into how she deals with her feelings and relationships following Miranda's death. I would recommend reading this.
Compelling writing - I couldn't put it down. It's slowly and softly and beautifully written account of the aftermath of a family tragedy. It repeats somewhat toward the end but a wonderful read just for the beautifully constructed sentences.
Karen Hogan
Good book, although not as good as author's book "Lady's Maid" Explores how grief affects family members in different ways. Very insightful... Want to read more by this author.
Donna Irwin
I really enjoyed this. A moving portrayal from a mothers point of view of a family torn apart by tragedy and trying to move on, or not, as the case may be. Beautifully written.
18 yo Miranda dies in a sailing accident - her mother, father, twin sister and brother each deal with the grief in a different way. I love her writing.
Raw emotions. Turmoil in relationships. Realities recognised. Enjoyed and recognised many of the conflict situations.
Cate Ellink
This is a story of grief. It's well told even with a difficult subject. I found it realistic.
Zoe Obstkuchen
Usually I love Margaret Forster's writing, but this left me cold
This was extremely disappointing. I was glad to finish it. Very slow and dreadfully boring.
Irene Nolan
Just couldn't get into it.
depressing... so far
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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. The day after she finished her final exams, she married the writer Hunter Davies, whom she met and fell in love with at the age of 17.

Since 1963 Margaret Forster has worked as a novelist, biog
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