Hazel Osmond's Reviews > The Hand That First Held Mine

The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell
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Jul 18, 11

Read on April 17, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I loved the energy and verve of this book and found the characters highly believable if, at times the plot was not. I particularly liked the way those battle scarred days following a traumatic birth experience were handled. The idea of a film being rewound or speeded up gave a strong framework to the book and is ideal for Maggie O'Farrell's highly visiual almost filmic writing. Only reason I didn't give it five stars was the weakness of some of the plot developments... could you really nick works of art destined to be someone else's and get away with it?

Some passages, such as following Innes' death were heartbreaking and Innes as a character almost overbalanced it for me... I found him the most attractive in the book and when he'd gone I felt it lost something. But then it wasn't his story, I do accept that.

Particularly liked the way motherhood was treated, not as a passive thing set in cement but something that was fierce, adaptable and sustaining as well as being, in the case of Innes' wife, clinging and poisoning.
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