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The Way We Were

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  457 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
It was in the middle of a snowstorm when Tiggy arrived at the remote house on Bodmin Moor. She was alone, her partner tragically dead in an accident. Julia, her dearest friend, welcomed her into her warm and chaotic family. Tiggy started to live again and look forward to the birth of her child. But nearly thirty years later, when her son is about to become a father himsel
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2008)
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``Laurie Henderson
After reading a few pages of this book I can already see where this is headed and I'm not sure I want to stick around to see the resulting carnage.

First off, even though Marcia Willett is a talented novelist, she seems to write at a snail's pace; and while details are important I'm not sure so much detail is necessary.

The novel begins with Tiggy headed off on a day long journey to see her lifelong girlfriend where she will be spending the next few months. As Tiggy drives the author fills in Tigg
Sep 23, 2009 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Well, I made the classic mistake of reading a review that spoiled the ending, without being marked as a "spoiler." Sigh...

This looked like a good book, for others who want to try it. For me, I'm relegating it to my "unfinished" folder. And onwards to the next book!
Aline Soules
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Explores human relationships

If you like exploring human relationships, you'll enjoy this book. The author is perceptive and has clearly spent a great deal of time getting to know her characters. The only thing that's confusing are the time shifts. It takes a while e to get used to them, especially when the earlier years are in present tense and the later ones are in past tense.
Sharon Stine
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably 3 1/2 stars

It captured mr even if predictable. Even if the characters were a bit too black and white I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2011
Tiggy is given a bronze model of Merlin by her beloved grandmother, just before she goes to stay with her close friend Julia. There's evidently some unpleasant history related to Tiggy's father, which gradually becomes clear througout the book.

The story begins in 1976, then leaps forward to 2004 for a while. It's cleverly done, the plot unfolding with the different chronological perspectives, allowing a tragedy to happen in the earlier time frame, which we already know about with hindsight.

I f
May 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Willett has been compared to Pilcher and Binchy but her stories, if this title is representative of her work, are not as compelling. The Way We Were jumps back and forth between 1976 and 2004. In 1976, Julia takes in her pregnant friend Tiggy, who dies in childbirth. Julia already has 3 kids and suffers a miscarriage at the same time but decides to raise Zack as her own. In 2005, Julia's kids are adults: Liv is helping an old boyfriend start a B&B with his wife, Zack is expecting his first c ...more
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not a bad book, but the dialogue was what got me. It wasn't so much dialogue as back-and-forth monologues. Bizarre, and I can't imagine ANYONE speaking that way (although thinking that way, definitely).

There's also the non-linear storyline, in that it jumps back and forth through time. I hated it at first, but as the story kept going I liked it, and Willett is clear by labeling the sections by year. So it's pretty easy to know exactly where you are in time.

I didn't like the over-abundance of c
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
It was during a snowstorm in February, 1976 when Tegan - known as Tiggy to her friends - arrived at the remote house on Bodmin Moor. She had lost her partner in a tragic accident and was now alone - and pregnant. Julia, her dearest friend, welcomed her into her warm and chaotic family, and Tiggy slowly started to live again. She awaited the birth of her child, temporarily secure in the supportive love which surrounded her.

But Tiggy's happiness was destined to be short-lived. Now, nearly thirty
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was thrilled to see that this author had a new book out but was kind of disappointed that the magic in some of her previous novels was missing in this book.
Good story, but the back and forth between two time periods was so often that it was mind-booggling and sure kept me on my toes.
Friends and family are what this author's stories are all about and they do leave one with a good feeling after having read the last page.
Two girlhood friends, one of them pregnant and unmarried, tho other marr
Lydia Bailey
Read this in one hit whilst down with a cold- not one of Marcia Willett's best that's for sure. It's very unstructured. The prologue is good but then part one just comes across as a giant muddle. New characters are introduced ad hoc without explanation leaving the reader confused as to who is who and whilst 'era swapping' is a common phenomenon it is done badly here and only adds to the confusion. As ever, her characterisation is spot on but several characters are placed in very unlikely scenari ...more
May 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit it -- I choose books by their covers, something I have in common with my mother-in-law! When I saw this one in the library here near Chicago I grabbed it and checked it out. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was set in the part of England where my mother-in-law lives! I enjoyed it initially for this reason as I'm familiar with many of the places in the book. But I enjoyed it more for the story of the lives and relationships it describes. It is the story of friendship, of marriages w ...more
Apr 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
This was a nice story, well-told, without too much melodrama or forced sweetness.

I don't usually like stories that bounce back and forth between time periods. This author did a good job of relating what happened in 1976 with Tiggy and Julia to things that are now happening with Julia's children in 2004. The parallels work well here.

I will look for more of this author's work over the summer.
Mar 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the hardest books I have tried to read. Constant moving from one era to another is totally confusing. There is far too much irrelevant language used. Some situations are really not plausible. The words of Cat and Angela to their supposed friends would hardly be tolerated in normal life.
Situation with Chris and Val and Liv is also one that would not be tolerated. Did not finish the book, there was nothing that grabbed me to know an ending.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, fiction
Beautiful story which I highly recommend and thoroughly enjoyed. Alternates between 1976/77 and 2004 but done so well it's not at all confusing as some stories doing this can be.
Tragic in some parts but how wonderful to experience a friendship like that of Julia and Tiggy.
This is the second book by this author that I've read and I really liked that also.
Will definitely be reading more free m Marcia Willett.
Aug 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poignantly written. She interwines the happenings of the 1970s with those of the first decade of the twenty first century and covers the lives of two - almost three generations of a family. Their lives on the Devon moors are described with warmth and colour and ventures into Truro, Rock and Padstow are full of life. You will really becomes engrossed in the storey of the Bodrugan family. The characters are so well defined by Willett - from Tiggy, Julia's childhood friend, to Aunt Em.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's about two friends Tiggy and Julia as young women they spent nine months together. Tiggy had just lost the man she loved and planned to marry and Julia a young mother of three was going to be alone while her husband was at sea. The story jumps from that year l976 to 2004 and so much has happened. This is a story of true friendship.
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another of Marcia Willett's books that I enjoyed reading. It switches back and forth between 1976-77 and 2004 in a way that expands a current 2004 story with what happened in the past that influenced the future. Often it is done as our own memories do - not in sequential order, but as something brings back a meory of something from the past. It had a satisfying ending.

May 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy
a nice British cosy-she rarely disapoints. a good substitute for rosamund Pilcher fans, if not quite as good a writer. Nicely descriptive of the English countryside, very good with intertwined relationships. A quibble-she writes whilst for while and amongst for among and it leaps off the page & interferes withe the flow.
Yet another AGA saga, so nothing really to discuss: the usual "things from the past coming back to haunt us", misunderstandings about love and friendship, etc. This didn't actually have an AGA, but still it very much fits the genre's mold.

And, of course, it's a great reading-palate cleanser.
May 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a so so story but i hated the format, the story went back and forth betwen 1976 and 2004 which I like when books do that but everytime it went to one of the years, the narrative was only for 2-3 pages so it was short and then back to the other year. Got kind of old.
Great read, did not want it to end.
LInda L
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story, but I hated all tlhe back and forth between 1976 and 2004 -- would have liked it to go straight on.
Oct 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick, easy light read. Enjoyable, but not a literary masterpiece.
Emilee Romano
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was that Barbara Streisand movie.
Gonna finish
Oct 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I have enjoyed every one of Marcia Willett's books. These are womens books and the characters are well developed.
May 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not quite as compelling and satisfying as The Courtyard . . . but I still liked it a lot. Such gorgeous descriptions of nature!
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like all her books! This one weaves a story between 1976 and 2004. Perhaps not as dynamic as her previous works, but I still loved it!
Linda Georges
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is only my second Willett. I really liked it a lot. Looking forward to others as people think she has done better ones.
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2014
rated it really liked it
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Marcia Willett began her career as a novelist when she was fifty years old. Since that first novel Marcia has written twenty more under her own name as well as a number of short stories. She has also written four books under the pseudonym "Willa Marsh", and is published in more than sixteen countries.

Marcia Willett's early life was devoted to the ballet, but her dreams of becoming a ballerina end
More about Marcia Willett...