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Little Beauty

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  18 reviews
1975: Laura Quinn has spent her life on the remote and beautiful Inis Miol Mor – Whale Island– off the west coast of Ireland. After the death of her parents, and faced with the continuing reluctance of her lover, Martin, to marry her, she realizes she needs to leave the island for her life really to begin.

She accepts a job as a housekeeper with a wealthy couple on the main
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 4th 2013 by Doubleday Ireland
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3.80  · 
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 ·  75 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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It is hard to tell about the extent of a mother's love, at what length and at what level she can go to protect her own children.
Joanne Harris, an acclaimed British author, famous for writing the award-winning novel Chocolat has been found quoting these remarkable lines about a "mother and her love":

“Children are knives, my mother once said. They don’t mean to, but they cut. And yet we cling to them, don’t we, we clasp them until the blood flows.”

Laura Quinn is another woman, who had to give up
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

Little Beauty by Alison Jameson tells the story of 38 year old Laura Quinn who having lost both her parents has come to a crossroads in her life. Laura's home on a remote island of the coast of Ireland has become like a gold fish bowl and they only thing that keeps her there are the visits to her lover Martin at the light house, but Martin has his own ideas on marriage and Laura makes her decision to find a better life on the mainland.

This is a very well written novel as the prose is
Trish at Between My Lines
I really wanted to love this book more than I actually did. I loved the setting but the overall feel of the book was depressing and made for a heavy, emotional read but still one I’m glad I read.

It is set in 1975 on a remote Island off the west coast of Ireland. Laura Quinn, who was orphaned at a young (unspecified) age leads a fairly isolated, bleak life there. She has a sort of partner, the not-so-lovely Martin, who is happy to make love to her but doesn’t want her to stay overnight in case sh
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I have read some great Irish novels this year, but this one takes the biscuit!

Alison Jameson has a very unique way of writing and I thought she wrote beautifully. The descriptions she used to describe a characters emotions and feelings really got to the core of the characters and I could picture everything so well.

I really liked the main character Laura. A lonely lady outcast by her small knit community on the island of Inis Miol Mor because of her Mother's suicide
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Jameson drew on her upbringing on a remote farm in rural Ireland to create this bittersweet story of belonging and betrayal. Her canny use of local vernacular gives the book a touch of the Irish stream-of-consciousness one finds in James Joyce, while the novel’s subject matter and isolated island setting recollect such gems as Margaret Drabble’s The Millstone, Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture, Maggie O’Farrell’s The Hand That First Held Mine and M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans. J ...more
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Review also posted on my blog

The cover for Little Beauty is striking and stunning, which is exactly the way I would describe this novel. It’s the powerful story of Laura, made to feel unwelcome and like an outcast, returning home to Ireland, this time with the love of her son Matthew.

I loved Laura’s character straight away. Whilst she was being mistreat for her differences, I warmed to her and felt for her. She was lonely and isolated and I really wanted
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is set in the 1970s where Laura Quinn lives on the remote Island of Inis Miol Mor off the west coast of Ireland. Her father was a fisherman and died when she was young and she has looked after herself since the death of her Mother when Laura was a teenager. She manages to make a living by collecting the seaweed off the beach near her house and selling it but she leads a lonely and isolated existence with no friends or family and only her boyfriend Martin for company, however he's happy ...more
Xavier Brown
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really thought provoking. Its a story about a girl who one might think is a bit simple but this is because she has lived a very secluded lifestyle on a very small island off the mainland. She has had to more or less bring herself up and has not really had much adult guidance. After deciding to leave and go to the mainland for a housekeeping job she gets entangled in the lives of the couple she is working for. She eventually returns to the island and is forced by do-gooders to make a decision tha ...more
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish-literature
A book which gets better as you progress into the novel and probably a good one for a book club. The disturbed main character does paint a fairly negative picture of the islanders but it is her perception as they support her through her life. The island is pictured wonderfully. The author bravely explores the risky decision making of Laura and plays out their consequences.
Susan Stairs
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a book to treasure. A world so perfectly realised, characters so vividly and tenderly brought to life. Beautifully sensual prose. Captivating.
Alec Mcallister
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bittersweet very believable portrayal of mad, isolated, judgemental, claustrophobic but also funny and rich island life in1970s Ireland.
Madeline Toy
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautifully written, evocative book. Published by Doubleday Ireland in May 2013.
Frank Parker
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jameson has created a character destined to become one of the most remembered of literature's tragic heroines. Orphaned at thirteen, an outsider in a close community, able to relate only to other outsiders, Laura is lonely. Her eccentricities, lovingly depicted, are at times hilarious, at times terrifying.
She finds fulfillment in motherhood but comes to realise she lacks the wherewithal to provide the life she knows her child deserves. I cannot tell you how she resolves that dilemma without spoi
Jul 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Alison Jameson’s novel Little Beauty is set on a remote island community of the West coast of Ireland and she’s chosen the booktrail to launch her blog tour!

come on the booktrail with Alison here - link: Booktrail to Ireland

We are so excited that we have made two cakes instead of one and are busy putting the icing on the second one when the doorbell rings. Oh that will be Alison! Now, whilst I’m answering the door, here’s a little taster of what we’ll be talking about -

Little Beauty – inspired b
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Little Beauty by Alison Jameson is a fantastic read. The book is beautifully written in a very unique way, embracing difficult topics we face in life with a humour that brings you to a place of mixed emotions. I found myself laughing and crying at the same time in a few occasions! Jameson manages to bring light to the darkness of a difficult life, which is admirable. Once I started the book I could not stop reading it following Laura's life ... such an adventure! I must say I felt part of it fro ...more
Sue Frances
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
The book was captivating and endlessly depressing at the same time.
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Alison Jameson grew up on a farm in rural Ireland, a remote and beautiful place that continues to inspire her work. An English and History graduate of University College Dublin she worked in advertising for many years before becoming a full-time writer. Home is Dublin where she lives with her husband and son.
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