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Bluethroat Morning

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Alison Bliss, celebrity model and critically acclaimed writer, walks into the sea one ‘bluethroat morning’. In death she becomes a greater icon than in life, and the Norfolk village where she lived is soon a place of pilgrimage. Six years later her husband Harry, a schoolteacher, is still haunted by her suicide and faithful to her memory. Until he meets Helen and they fall ...more
Kindle Edition, 551 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Blackbird Digital Books (first published 2000)
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3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Intense, somber, and contemplative!

Bluethroat Morning is a hauntingly perceptive novel that takes us into the life of Harry Bliss, a middle-aged man struggling to come to grips with the incredible grief, guilt, and emptiness he still feels over the loss of his wife to suicide.

The prose is poetic and sophisticated. The imagery is vivid. The characters are complex, self-indulgent, and tortured by the past. And the well-crafted plot written in a reflective past/present style does a remarkable job o
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was provided to me from NetGalley, Blackbird Publishing and Jacqui Lofthouse in exchange for my honest opinion. To them, I send my deepest gratitude.

Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse was beautifully written with intricate plot and sub-plots. It's a rather long book, but I didn't mind this and never lost interest once.

Harry Bliss is a retiring school teacher who was married to a former super-model, Alison Oakley Bliss who turned best-selling author. Her book was very well receive
“A bluethroat morning. Before first light and the morning still: a velvet darkness.”

Seldom have I read such a novel. It is touted as a literary thriller, yet readers who are expecting overt thrills will be disappointed. The thrills contained within the pages of “Bluethroat morning” are elusive, subtle, and transitory.

On the surface, it is the story of Harold Bliss. A normal man, a teacher, who marries a modern legend who is twenty years younger than he. But what are ‘legends’ but skin and bone,
Sharon Zink
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is almost flawlessly written, being both elegant in its prose and haunting in its story, recalling the tragic romance of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, but with additional depth and a stunning atmospheric setting.
Fiona Mckenzie
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bluethroat Morning is a haunting novel which remains in the memory long after the last page is turned. It’s many-layered story slips easily between the past and the present, with at the centre, Harry Bliss, an English teacher, trying to make sense of his famous wife’s suicide. Jacqui Lofthouse is brilliant at getting her characters to step off the page, capturing their moral ambiguity and complexity. She also writes beautifully about the landscape of the Norfolk coast where much of the story is ...more
Richard Fabb
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tenderly drawn characters, emotional (at times erotic) tension, great sense of place and history. A fascinating mystery and compelling read.
Michelle Ryles
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galleys-read
Blackbird Books don't publish a lot of books, compared to other publishers, but when they do it's sure to be a good one. Quality is the word that springs to mind when I open a book published by Blackbird Books and Bluethroat Morning by Jacqui Lofthouse is of such an outstanding quality that I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops.

Harry Bliss has to deal with the awful after-effects of his wife's suicide. A successful model then author, Alison Bliss walked into the sea at the height of her
Joanne Robertson
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I saw the blurb for Bluethroat Morning, I knew I had to read it. The North Norfolk setting is one I know very well indeed and I was hoping for a book that brought its beautiful and seductive coastline to life. So I couldn’t have been happier when I began to read and was immediately drawn into its intriguing and shadowy world. This is a long novel and it took me a few days to complete but that’s because I felt consumed by every single word and my reading speed slowed right down. So do ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well written mystery story with lots of twists & turn between now & then.
Robert Beveridge
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Jacqui Lofthouse, Bluethroat Morning (Bloomsbury, 2001)

Jacqui Lofthouse's second novel has faded into obscurity at an amazing rate (Amazon will still let you add it to your cart, but when it comes to actually shipping the thing...). This is truly a travesty of justice, for Bluethroat Morning is the best literary mystery I've read in a very long time.

Harry Bliss' wife, Alison, committed suicide six years ago by the rather odd method of stripping, walking into the ocean, and drowning. It takes a l
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I’ll understand if you call me a bit of a lightweight, but however beautiful the cover (and this one most certainly is) or enticing a book’s description, my heart often sinks a little when I open a book on my kindle and see it’s going to take me a tad under five hours to read. Reading in short bursts, this book actually took me an unheard of five days to read – but I loved every wonderful moment.

The writing is singularly beautiful – the descriptions of the Norfolk setting, underpinning and enhan
S.E. Lynes
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written drama about the world of writing, the press and the dark side of what it means to live a public life. Explores the complicated and messy reasons people find themselves attracted to one another, ideas about privacy and legacy, about grief and sex and about validation and identity. Authentic characters and relationships. There are strong echoes of Iris Murdoch’s The Black Prince in this high quality read which may be a little slow for some. Recommend.
Susan Angela Wallace
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
bluethroat morning by Jaqui lofthouse.
Alison Bliss, celebrity model and critically acclaimed writer, walks into the sea one ‘bluethroat morning’. In death she becomes a greater icon than in life, and the Norfolk village where she lived is soon a place of pilgrimage. Six years later her husband Harry, a schoolteacher, is still haunted by her suicide and faithful to her memory. Until he meets Helen and they fall in love.
Harry and Helen’s relationship initiates a return to the scene of Alison’s d
diana berns
Alison, a well know model and writer commits suicide one Morning. Harry her husband is affected by not knowing the reason for this. He spends all his time trying to find out why, until he meets Helen, his friends daughter 20 years younger than himself, who he falls in love with because she has a touch of Alison about her. The book is about their love and the effects of it. I found the book very well written, but too wordy for me. I could only read it in small doses but was interested enough to r ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think Harry Bliss came to some sort of a closure; and I really liked how the book ended. I got an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Donna Irwin
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was not a simple thriller to be devoured at one sitting. It was a complex multi layered literary thriller with beautiful writing which needed to be read slowly and imbibed over a few days. This is a novel about love and loss, suicide, the issues of fame and living a public life, about writing and about writing about other people and the further responsibility that brings. Past and present intertwine against the atmospheric Norfolk background as Harry Bliss seeks to understand the suicide of ...more
Andrew Ives
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-fiction
At almost 400 pages, Bluethroat Morning is an emotional, serious and complex psychological thriller revolving around a widower's investigation into the mysterious suicide of his author wife at a quiet coastal resort some six years previous. Jacqui writes uncommonly well, weaving this anything-but-linear tale in a very mature, deft fashion. The nature of the subject means that this may not be the most accessible of her novels, but the last 40-50 pages make for compelling reading and are far from ...more
Georgina Roberts
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I started reading this and I admit it took me a while to get into it, so much that I was ready to give up, but I persevered with it and enjoyed it in the end. Its a slow burner but worth the read. It is a long book so took me a few days to read but I think a book as descriptive as this shouldn’t be rushed. Such a good story and totally different to my usual reads.
Michele Hickey
Good plot, a bit drawn out.
Barbara Rohde
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Harry Bliss is a school teacher, married to Alison, a former model, turned writer who decides to return to her Norfolk village to work on her book, an exploration of Harry's grandfather's wife Arabella. One day while there, Alison inexplicably walks into the Norfolk sea in an apparent suicide.

Six years later, Harry is still devastated by her loss. His friend and colleague at school, Richard, has a daughter Helen who is also infatuated with Alison's writing. They embark on a questionable relation
Kirsten Cutler
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This dark but fascinating story follows the main character as he six years after his famous wife committed suicide, makes a trip to the town where she died. Living alone in a cottage, she was investigating and writing a book about the life and eventual suicide of another woman whose photo she found in her husband's collection of family photos. Unfortunately, the unfinished manuscript was found burnt after her death, and Harry, her husband is held responsible both for that and even the presumed ...more
Nick Carrington
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Pretentious twaddle. Several hours of my life I'll never get back. The protagonist, Harry Bliss, is such a caricature as to appear carved from lignum vitae, so wooden is he. Various pre-packaged devices are deployed - the affair with the younger girl, the famous dead wife, the "notebook" which turns out to be not notes, but a sort of diary, conveniently explaining all the missing parts of the story, but at mind-numbing cost to plough through it. Thankfully it can be skimmed and the story reconst ...more
Asimah Akhtar
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very dark psychological thriller about an English teacher, Harry Bliss, who after six years is still unable to get over the suicide of his wife. This is a very well written book, with an intriguing and complex plot.

The characters are also very well portrayed, although I was only fond of Alison Bliss and Ern Higham. It was very interesting to learn more about Alison and the reasons for her suicide. We get an insight into her thinking, she was clearly suffering from some form of depression and t
Susan Schuurmans
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story unfolds against the background of the eerie Norfolk coast. The prose is poetic and literary, slowing down the reading pace forcing the reader to muse as they read. For me there were echoes of well-known classics, cleverly reworked by the author in her take of this faintly gothic, well plotted, exquisite novel. I will reread this book to better savour each word and image and to better understand the convoluted plot. This was a five star read for me. Thank you to TBC for the copy to revi ...more
Sue Ross
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book left me dumb struck for a while after finishing it. It was a very personal and poignant reading experience for me as I had lost my fiancé to suicide when I was 21. As anniversaries and Birthdays fall around this time, it did mean that I truly engaged with the characters. The wonderful descriptive writing and the realism of the situation and character’s reactions grabbed me right until the end.
Deirdre Mathias
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok

The main character in the book was I thought absolutely self obsessed. All under the veneer of ‘the great writer’. The character of her husband irritated me too....weak. The writing was very good but the whole novel was too wrung out.
The main character had committed suicide. The rest of the book was devoted to her husband’s search for the reason. I nodded off towards the end.
Greta Halliday
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that the first few chapters of this book had me wondering whether to continue or give up. I came to the conclusion that this extremely descriptive and well written novel has to be read at a leisurely pace to absorb the intricate details of the storyline. A fascinating and haunting mystery. Thanks to TBC Reviewer Group for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
Julie Rhinehart
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Emotional and engaging. Perfect pairing of both the past and present. A love story full of longing and pain, with a splash of suspense woven in. Easy weekend read.

Thank you NetGalley and Blackbird Digital Books for this edition and hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I very much enjoyed the story, the layers and twists and its pacing. I struggled with the writing voice which just didn't ring true to me. And while that didn't spoil the story for me, it kept me from fully connecting with either narrator.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Absolutely fascinating and fantastic twists and turns. It’s a literary thriller. Written in such depth that you cannot rush it. Too many layers to savour and muse.
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Jacqui Lofthouse is the author of four novels: 'The Temple of Hymen' (Penguin 1995), 'Bluethroat Morning' (Bloomsbury, 2000 and Blackbird 2018), 'Een Stille Verdwijning' (De Bezige Bij 2005) and 'The Modigliani Girl' (Blackbird Digital Books 2015). Her novels have sold over 100,000 copies in the UK, the USA and Europe and have been widely reviewed.

Jacqui began her career as an actor touring India