Rocky41-7's Reviews > The Very Thought of You

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison
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Apr 03, 14

bookshelves: cheap, easy-read, lousy, poorly-written, tragic
Read in August, 2011

** spoiler alert ** After reading the description of this book, I was very excited. It sounded like an excellent WWII drama. WHAT a disappointment. The cover led you to believe that the story was about Anna, a WWII evacuee, but the real main plot here was the infidelity. Every single married person here was involved in some kind of affair with at least one person. Mrs. Ashton was an intetresting, troubled charecter, but she wasn't fleshed out enough. Alison seemed to just enjoy talking in great detail about the various men she slept with and how she felt about it. Mr. Ashton I liked at first, but gradually lost sympathy for him. He was just as much to blame for the faliure of his marriage. He rarely spoke to Mrs. Ashton, locked himself up in his study most of the time and tried to ignore the world around him. When he begins to fall in love with another woman, instead of getting a divorce or having some self control like normal people, he waits until she's pregnant to announce to his wife that he's leaving her. Then,in a fit of jealous rage, Mrs. Ashton crashes the car with both her and the other woman in it, killing both woman and the unborn child. Mr. Ashton's life just seems like a never-ending sob story but his lack of emotion really bothered me. He had no depth. He was flat.
As for Anna, she somehow manages to fall in love with Mr. Ashton at age 12 and stays in love with him until the day she dies. Despite the fact that she is married to a very attractive, loving husband with two children, she rushes out and sleeps with a sixty year old salesman and then goes back to Ashton Park in hopes of getting it on with her old teacher. Eventually her husband divorces her, but not before having an affair with one of his co-workers. Anna starts drinking heavily after this, becoming nothing so much as a carbon copy of Mrs. Ashton, the woman she loathed.
During Anna's evacuation, we see things from her mother Roberta's point of view. Roberta is one of the more loathsome charecters in this book. She gets a job with a radio station after Anna leaves and immediately sets out scoping out men for an affair. She feels no remorse for this and spends weeks cultivating a relationship solely to sleep with the man. When she got killed on a walk home from her hubby's air-raid shelter, it was a blessing. However, her death scene was rushed and hurried, leaving you thinking '...wait, did she just die?'
Overall, the book was a major let-down. It made all marriages seem worthless and that cheating was an expected part of marriage, as none of those who were cheated on reacted, even though they knew what was happening. Anna was completely pathetic as an adult, spending most of her life wallowing in self-pity. I wanted to slap her. And then there were those parts told from the POV of Peter Norton and her husband, which felt totally out of place and were quite boring. I'm not sure why they were included, but they were unecessary and added nothing.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Katherine I totally agree with this review and said pretty much the same in mine

Rocky41-7 Thanks. I just felt like the back-cover description made it sound like it had a lot of promise and then I got majorly let down.

Katherine I didn't really touch on the infidelity in my review--not sure why--other than that I saw it as just one more self absorbed behavior on all their parts. And the last part--Anna grown up was just ridiculous--almost incestuous in its telling. Horrible book for the most part.

Rocky41-7 Completely.

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