Learning How to Love
'Learning How to Love' begins with the discovery of a body in a remote village on the southern tip of Italy. How the events that unfold there and the impact of the second world war story behind it affect the present day relationships of Patrick and Anna is at the heart of this novel about coming to terms with who we are. In very different ways both of them discover the past is something they can’t escape. Alongside them, Liz and Josh have to accept the loss of their previous relationships before they can move forward, and Simon confronts the reality of his sexuality. Through the development of this fast moving novel, each of them has to rebuild their life. As they do so they find themselves facing fundamental questions. How much are we affected by our background and our life circumstances? What is the nature of human attraction and do we have to learn how to love? The twists and turns of the novel are eventually resolved in surprising but convincing conclusions.
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Dec 20, 2012Review from Peter on kindle: Novel titles don't always give us too much of a clue about what we are to experience. This impressive first novel by Al James is an exception. It is all about learning to love and the profound challenges that presents. It is a novel about the impact of the past, symbolised most powerfully by the discovery of a long buried body in southern Italy. The structure is complex with a series of strands coming together in terms of the developing plot but held together more effectively by the dominating theme of people trying to forge new or first relationships under the burden of pasts that in one way or another hold them back from commitment. It is a compelling read and I got through it in just 2 days. While the plot very occasionally strains under the number of coincidences that bring characters together, a character refers at one point to even Hardy hesitating before using such a sequence of coincidences, the dominating theme gives a poetic unity to the novel... More > that is powerful and in places deeply moving. Particularly successful is the character of Liz. An assertive and confident headteacher (and this is one of very few books that convinces with its school-based scenes), her apparent self-control belies the profound sense of loss she is suffering following the death of her husband three years before. She has to learn to learn to place this grief and this deep love so that she can begin afresh with a new relationship. This complex emotional struggle is handled with great sensitivity and skill. This is a really enjoyable read but it is also thought provoking. It is above all a deeply humane work that engages the reader in the complex and painful world of loss but which ultimately asserts the central importance of commitment to relationships even if that might risk the cost of loss or hurt. I strongly recommend this book.< Less
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- Al James (Standard Copyright License)
- First Edition
- November 6, 2012
- File Format
- File Size
- 326.99 KB
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|Flowing Text / Pages||Flowing Text|
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- learning to love ,
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