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Gwendolen by Diana Souhami
  

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Set in the middle of the 19th century, this is the story of Gwendolen Harleth from her early twenties on. It is always from her point of view and told as if she were writing to Daniel Deronda, the recipient of her unrequited love and admiration. She is a character from the George Eliot novel so it is fascinating to see that tale from a different angle. Those familiar with the original will no doubt compare and contrast. Those not will enjoy a fascinating historical romance with edge and depth which brings in Eliot and her friends so mixes fact and fiction. It shows a liberated Gwendolen opening herself to new ideas which contrasts with both the main male characters allowing their obsessions to restrict them. A fascinating concept and interesting portrayal of the period. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Diana Souhami you might also like to read books by Jo Baker, Hilary Mantel and P D James.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Gwendolen, who first makes an appearance in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, here takes centre stage. To save her family from poverty and hardship when her mother is suddenly made penniless, Gwendolen accepts the offer of marriage from the wealthy Grandcourt, naively hoping that a life of luxury as his wife would more than make up for her lack of feelings for him. She chose to ignore the rumours of his past misdemeanours only discovering, when it was too late, the true extent of Grandcourt’s cold and sadistic nature, and realising she had made a terrible mistake. Was there any way she could escape a life of misery?
~ The Good Book Guide

Synopsis

Gwendolen by Diana Souhami

I was winning until I met your gaze...Gambling at the roulette tables of the Kursaal, Gwendolen Harleth glances up to meet Daniel Deronda's arresting stare. Striking, selfish and wilful, she is at that moment the mistress of her destiny. Years later, the flawed heroine and true protagonist of Eliot's last great novel writes her confessional to the man whose ever-imagined gaze has prevailed throughout her life. The egotism, naivete and sensitivity of her blazing youth is evoked with bittersweet wisdom; a passionate remembrance of the events leading up to the marriage that broke her spirit, and the loss of the man who broke her heart. Moving, original and elegant, this is a bravura re-imagining of the life of one of English literature's most multi-faceted and contradictory heroines.

Reviews

'When Eliot drops the thread, Souhami comes into her own ... Eliot neglected to find a proper home for Gwendolen. Souhami, with sympathy, mischief and imagination, gives her one'
Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'An act of breathtaking chutzpah: Gwendolen Harleth stands alongside Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Edith Wharton's Lily Bart as one of the most compelling characters in the history of the novel, and to assume creative responsibility for her is not for the faint-hearted ... It is intriguing, and it is brave' Guardian

About the Author

Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, and she has also written plays for radio and television. She won the Whitbread Biography Award for Selkirk's Island.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th May 2015

Author

Diana Souhami

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Author's Website

www.dianasouhami.co.uk/
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Publisher

riverrun an imprint of Quercus Publishing

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Romantic Fiction
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction

ISBN

9781782063551

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