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Either Side Of Winter
Executed with sympathy, tenderness and emotional nuance, the four parts of this novel come together to form a picture of people whose lives are inextricably linked by circumstance, community and a need to be loved.
Published by Faber & Faber
(first published 2005)
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I loved the first half of this book. It was so beautifully written and somewhat mysterious (why was Amy crying every night, as the very first sentence says). I had not yet worked out where we were going and I like surprises. By the time I finished the third episode (it is really a novel made up of loosely-linked novellas) I began to resent its pervasive melancholy. I also felt there were too many details about too many characters: who was whose father and mother, etc. I could no longer take in w ...more
I like how neatly these four stories fall into their own respective season; each could stand alone as a short story but they fit together collectively just so, with their overlapping characters and subject matter - a year in the lives of select students and teachers at a singular New York City high school. I was just going to comment on the unifying father/daughter theme that runs throughout, when I read that Fathers and Daughters is actually the title this book is published under in the US. I w ...more
Broken into three separate sections that could easily be read as novellas. All three of the main protags in each section are teachers or loosely attached to a teacher and all three stories are connected. Clean, sparse prose with a whole lot of emotion. Admirable writing really, not easy to mimic -- to keep the sentences so short and the emotional tone strong throughout. Actually, this is a pretty damn melancholy book and probably best read in the wintertime. It's also really strong.
Took a bit to get into. I felt like I was reading some prized student's work. The words form carefully constructed sentences that leave me wishing I had taken more lit classes so I could better describe what I read. Once I got past that bit of intimidation I realized I was interested in the story of four individuals whose lives intersect but whose stories are told separately. Interesting reading although it makes me glad I am not a new yorker.
It feels like this took me forever to finish because I was bored. Ten days is forever for a les than 300 page book. Could have been much better than it was, too little dialogue with too much unnecessary narration. Also, I dislike when writers use the word pregnant to describe anything other than an actual pregnancy. In this case, the earth/world was pregnant with spring several times.
Four loosely connected novellas about teachers and pupils and fathers and daughters. I liked Markovits's writing style a lot, but I didn't enjoy the book itself because at no point of the story did I manage to emotionally connect to or even care about any of the characters. A rather frustrating, unrewarding read.
I received this book from the goodreads giveaways. I had a hard time getting into the book, and as someone else stated in an earlier review I didnt feel a connection to the characters, whcih made it hard to care what happened to them. It was an ok read, but I personally could not get emotionally invested in it.
Although I by no means read this book carefully, the writing was very confusing, choppy, and generally unclear. I found the first story to be boring and odd. While the message was good, it wasn't worth the 63 pages it took to get it to it.