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The Go-Between
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1001 book reviews > The Go-Between by L.P. Harley

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Karen | 295 comments 'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there'

Staying with a school friend one long, hot summer this is the story of Leo Colston, who becomes a messenger for Marian, daughter of his host, and Ted, a local farmer. But this is the Edwardian era and relationships between people of different classes are not permitted...

I love coming of age novels. Even though I did not particularly like any of the characters in this book, the quality of the writing meant I still really enjoyed the book.

Also, it was set in my home county near where my grandparents lived :)
And now I can finally watch the adaptations of it as I don't like watching films before I read the book.


message 2: by Kristel (last edited Dec 05, 2020 06:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kristel (kristelh) | 4259 comments Mod
I've had this on my tbr for a long time and I am happy to finally get it read. This book was published in 1953 and is the coming age story of a young boy who is 12 going on 13. He is a dreamer and a romantic but also very black and white in his thinking. He is rather naive, a boy who is raised by his widowed mother. He really has little understanding of adult worlds. The story starts with a 60 y/o man who finds a box in the attic that triggers memories from a summer visit to Norfolk as the world is entering the 20th century. It is a story of the loss of innocence. It is a time period of transition from childhood to adolescence. There is some contrasts between class but it isn't the main theme of the book. "Dimly I felt that the contrast represented something more than the conflict between Hall and village. It was that, but it was also the struggle between order and lawlessness, between obedience to tradition between order and lawlessness, between obedience to tradition and defiance of it, between social stability and revolution, and defiance of it, between social stability and revolution, between one attitude to life and another." rated 3.6


Amanda Dawn | 1243 comments Listened to this one on audio recently, and I enjoyed it and gave it 3 stars. Not much to add beyond what has already been written here, but I think the themes of innocence lost, trying to fix the past, the tragedy of rigid social division were well explored. I liked the somewhat unexpected resolution of the ending too.


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