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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Don and Louise's eighteen-year-old daughter Miranda has died in a sailing accident. While Louise takes steps to move on with her life, Don cannot come to terms with the chain of events that led to her death. Instead, he is determined to bring someone to account. The surviving children handle the loss of their sister better than their parents, but what they can't handle is ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Vintage (first published January 22nd 2007)
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Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Arthur Anderson
Margaret Forster writes fiction that is convincingly, disturbingly real, rooted in the experiences of ordinary lives. As in Carol Shields’s Unless, this novel takes a heartbreaking look at a mother’s anguish.

Over is a novel about what happens after a tragedy in a family. Not the tragedy itself but its aftermath; what’s left when the tide recedes and it’s over. A daughter has died, suddenly, shockingly, and the different ways in which her parents respond to the tragedy, and how this affects the o
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
I didn't dislike this book enough to stop reading it but to be honest I did not care at all what happened. I did not feel anything for the characters and felt no emotion from the writing even though it is a novel about grief. I felt it was written in a very off hand way. I hated all the parts when the main character was teaching and I was glad when I was finished it!
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it

This was the first book I'd read by the prolific Ms Forster, and I have to confess, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The author has a beautiful use of words that just carries you along, gradually absorbing the facts as they are presented and simultaneously empathising with the struggles of the bereaved family. To be honest, not a lot happens, but I respect that the author therefore had the sense to make this a fairly short book (200 pgs), not putting us through unnecessa
Aug 02, 2009 rated it did not like it
Not for me - we read this at my book group and there was a 4 to 1 against the novel sadly for my friend who loves it - just goes to show we all have different expectations and preferences for our reads. The premise of the story is quite interesting - a woman picking up the pieces of her life in middle age following the death of her daughter in a boating accident - but it is quite impersonal and dreary at best. I felt nothing, no sypmathy for the main character, her remaining children and estrang ...more
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
a very compelling account of grief and how a family copes with it.
I enjoyed Forster's story of how Don and Lou and their two children coped with the tragic accident which cost the life of one of their children/siblings. It very much reminded me of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina:
"All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".
In Over, each family member is unhappy in their own way and their coping strategy is also a very individual one.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suffered a recent bereavement and didn't realise this book was about that subject. Perhaps it was more poignant as a result and I like Forster's writing anyway, but I suspect this book would be a useful tool as it covers the madness and separation that occurs between us, the bereaved and the world and each other! memories, hatred, myth, friendships are all in there
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A family grieving is an important subject to explore.

She is an assured and accomplished writer - what a relief after reading a few duds lately! - I look forward to reading more of her work.

Donna Irwin
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. A moving portrayal from a mothers point of view of a family torn apart by tragedy and trying to move on, or not, as the case may be. Beautifully written.
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Raw emotions. Turmoil in relationships. Realities recognised. Enjoyed and recognised many of the conflict situations.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a relatively short but well-rounded novel told in Margaret Forster’s usual sensitive and perspicacious style.

A teenage girl has died in a sailing accident and her family are trying to deal with their grief each in his/her own way.

After the first terrible year in which she only just managed to go on for the sake of her two remaining children the mother starts writing a diary. We follow her slow progress back to some semblance of a “normal” life, helped by the work she loves, old friends
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Margaret Forster's insightful writing never fails to please. This is life minutely and accurately observed.
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've never read any Margaret Forster before but I stumbled across this novel online and liked the blurb, so bought the audiobook. Within minutes of turning on my ipod, I knew I was in the best hands. Forster writes beautifully - her prose has that easy-going simplicity of tone that only a consummate writer can assume. Her descriptions are concise and unfailing accurate; her characters utterly believable.

But what really impressed me was the depth and subtlety of Forster's characterisation, and th
Kirsty Darbyshire
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperback

I think I ought to start keeping track of all the Miranda's I find in books. There are many more of them in fiction than there are in real life.

The Miranda in this book is the eighteen year old daughter of the protagonist, and I confess that I thought the book might be a bit of a tough read when the jacket copy told me that this Miranda got killed in a sailing accident. Tough just because of the naming coincidence with my daughter rather than just because of the death of a child. All Forster's

Tomgirl deni
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-group
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
While I didn't particularly like or feel sympathy for the central character of this novel, Forster truly brings people and their situations to life. I really believe what she's telling me. I hear all the quirks and loopholes in her narrator's account. Forster doesn't seem to set up a plot to resolve it - she sets it up to use it to show us how people work - how they think, feel, communicate, fall apart and pull themselves together. There are little slices of life between each and every page of t ...more
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars. Almost a 5. This book about what happens to a family once one of the children dies in a boating accident is told from the point of the mother Much of the story is about what happens to the relationship between the parents when they express their grief so differently. the characters are so well drawn I feel I know Lou, the mother. It is not over sentimental but feels honest. I read it in one day - just couldn't leave it.
Dale Harcombe
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting yet somehow not entirely gripping exploration of how a family deals with grief over a death. Mother, father, brother and twin sister each have their own way of coping, or not as the case may be, with Miranda's death. I usually like Margaret Forster's books. I have to admit to being a little disappointed with the ending of this one but perhaps that was the only way it could end. I'd be curious to hear what others thought.
Jun 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Denise by: Lucy
Very disappointed with this book. I found the main character unreadable and therefore didn't warm to her, and couldn't really sympathise with her situation. The husband and other children felt two dimensional and I found the whole thing a drag. Wouldn't have finished if it hadn't been a book group read. Turgid.
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I wasn't going to finish it, but thought hey might as well. It wasn't writen horribly, but it does go clunk a lot and it doesn't really come to any conclusion, nor does it feel very realistic, but I wouldn't know.

It seemed to drone on and on, wouldn't advise anyone on reading it, unless your bored, it's only slightly better than some other crap out there!
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I am constantly surprised by Margaret Forster as I always anticipate not enjoying her books [I think the covers and how they are described often betray the actual content of the novels]. I really liked this - the approach of looking at the aftermath of a tragedy on a family and how everyone deals with things differently seemed realistic but also made a great story too.
May 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book but was disappointed by the ending. I was expecting a different ending as the story seemed to be moving towards a revelation that her account of events and her behaviour weren't entirely realistic. I was expecting a twist. Rereading the ending, it works well enough in a low-key way. Life goes on.
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Observation into how different family members deal with grief. Read it around Xmas, probably not the best time to read it, quite depressing at times. Found the husband and the daughter to be very selfish....expecting the mother to behave in certain ways when it suited them...the story did drag at times...
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was rereading this book for my reading group, and raced through it. Very interesting to consider it having just read some rigorous non-fiction by the author. Found it incredibly gripping (and very sad) - would be very interested to know if it reflects events in the author's life or not but it's certainly a book that is still gripping on second reading and that you go on thinking about.
Jun 17, 2010 rated it liked it
A beautifully observed, quiet novel about recovering after the loss of a child. Forster references Carol Shields's 'Unless' during the course of the novel and there are some similarities between the two books. This novel is not as compelling as 'Private Papers' or 'Have the men had enough?' but definitely worth a read.
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book in a day and a half. Not very big,but it did grip you once you had got inside the story. I kept hoping for a happy ending,which still may happen in time. But the death of a child family member had effected everyone within the family. The story described how each person managed to cope and deal with it. I did enjoy it if that the right word.
Sarah Harkness
Dec 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Always readable...and so hard to write about a parent's grief, the unimaginable pain...I just wasn't sure the ending was satisfactory? unreliable narrator, or did I just rush it, thus missing something, in the hope of a much more satisfactory conclusion? I read too fast sometimes!
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quite an insightful and very sad book. After loosing a twin daughter/sister to a sailing accident the balance of the family is utterly destroyed by each one's different grief reaction. There is a hole in the family and it seems irreparable.
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked this book afterall. First it seemed boring, and yes, there wasn't nothing really interesting BUT it was different, made think about things, maybe even relate with that woman, with her family.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I enjoyed reading this book. The way it was told from Louise's point of view allowed you to share her experiebces as well as giving an insight into how she deals with her feelings and relationships following Miranda's death. I would recommend reading this.
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Compelling writing - I couldn't put it down. It's slowly and softly and beautifully written account of the aftermath of a family tragedy. It repeats somewhat toward the end but a wonderful read just for the beautifully constructed sentences.
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Margaret Forster was educated at the Carlisle and County High School for Girls. From here she won an Open Scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford where in 1960 she was awarded an honours degree in History.

From 1963 Margaret Forster worked as a novelist, biographer and freelance literary critic, contributing regularly to book programmes on television, to Radio 4 and various newpapers and magazin
More about Margaret Forster...

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