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Union Street and Blow Your House Down

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  93 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Union Street, Pat Barker's first novel, concerns seven neighboring women near a factory in northeast England. Life for these women is trying: some of them are married to alcoholics, some are victims of abuse; one is old and near death, another is still a child but has the experience of an adult; all are struggling to survive. First published in 1982, it was made into the f ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 15th 1999 by Picador
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Anne
Feb 15, 2014 Anne rated it really liked it
These are the first Pat Barker novels I have read. I love the focus on the life of working class women and their strong will to survive. They feel authentic and true.

The northern English cities are some of my favorites. Barker perfectly describes the gritty and dark side throughout and ends the second novel with a description of amazing beauty.
Emily
Jan 25, 2014 Emily rated it liked it
These first two novels by Pat Barker are worlds away from the “Regeneration” trilogy in style and tone. They seem heavy-handed by comparison. Still, in all these works you find Barker’s love of her characters and her respect for how they make peace with the hand that’s been dealt them. “Union Street” consists of seven interconnected stories about women (the youngest is an adolescent, the oldest, in her 70s) from the mean streets of Northern England. If you string these stories together, you get ...more
Matt Heimer
Jul 08, 2008 Matt Heimer rated it really liked it
The wives and girlfriends of British coal-miners get pregnant, get married, get stalked by serial killers. All of which is, at times, incongruously and brilliantly funny--but more often poignantly bleak. This was my first Pat Barker (philistine!) but it will not be my last.
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Pat Barker was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in 1943. She was educated at the London School of Economics and has been a teacher of history and politics.

Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy Regeneration ; The Eye in the Door , winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road , winner of the Booker Prize; as well as seven other novels. Pat Barker is married and lives in
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