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Girl With Dove A Life Built by Books

by Sally Bayley

eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Girl With Dove A Life Built by Books

`Reading is a form of escape and an avid reader is an escape artist...'

By the age of ten precocious Sally, the author, had read all of Agatha Christies’s novels and moved on to Jane Eyre and David Copperfield.  Miss Marple, Jane herself, Peggotty, these were her role models and companions.  She invented back stories for them, different endings, had conversations and wove them in and out of her own life.  We learn all this in delightful, fanciful snippets.  In the same way we learn of the author’s traumatic childhood  but because she is living through the events they just seem mysterious or sad or unexplained.  She is a girl with a huge imagination and was able to accept the strange female dominant childhood she lived through until Social Services arrived and plucked her out.  This is a memoir full of surprises.  It’s intriguing, mesmerising and impressively written through the eyes of a child who relies on her literary heroines to guide her through her turbulent, formative years.

Sarah Broadhurst

Girl With Dove A Life Built by Books Synopsis

`Reading is a form of escape and an avid reader is an escape artist...' Growing up in a dilapidated house by the sea where men were forbidden, Sally's childhood world was filled with mystery and intrigue. Hippies trailed through the kitchen looking for God - their leader was Aunt Di, who ruled the house with charismatic force. When Sally's baby brother vanishes from his pram, she becomes suspicious of the activities going on around her. What happened to Baby David and the woman called Poor Sue? And where did all the people singing and wailing prayers in the front room suddenly go? Disappearing into a world of books and reading, Sally adopts the tried and tested methods of Miss Marple. Taking books for hints and clues, she turns herself into a reading detective. Her discovery of Jane Eyre marks the beginning of a vivid journey through Victorian literature where she also finds the kind, eccentric figure of Charles Dickens' Betsey Trotwood. These characters soon become her heroines, acting as a part of an alternative family, offering humour and guidance during many difficult moments in Sally's life. Combining the voices of literary characters with those of her real-life counterparts, Girl With Dove reads as a magical series of strange encounters, climaxing with a comic performance of Shakespeare in the children's home where Sally is eventually sent. Weaving literary classics with a young girl's coming of age story, this is a book that testifies to the transformative power of reading and the literary imagination. Mixing fairy tale, literary classics, nursery rhymes and folklore, it is the story of a child's adventure in wonderland and search for truth in an adult world often cast in deep shadow.

Girl With Dove A Life Built by Books Press Reviews

`Reading is a form of escape and an avid reader is an escape artist...'

By the age of ten precocious Sally, the author, had read all of Agatha Christies’s novels and moved on to Jane Eyre and David Copperfield.  Miss Marple, Jane herself, Peggotty, these were her role models and companions.  She invented back stories for them, different endings, had conversations and wove them in and out of her own life.  We learn all this in delightful, fanciful snippets.  In the same way we learn of the author’s traumatic childhood  but because she is living through the events they just seem mysterious or sad or unexplained.  She is a girl with a huge imagination and was able to accept the strange female dominant childhood she lived through until Social Services arrived and plucked her out.  This is a memoir full of surprises.  It’s intriguing, mesmerising and impressively written through the eyes of a child who relies on her literary heroines to guide her through her turbulent, formative years.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008226855
Publication date: 17/05/2018
Publisher: William Collins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008226855
Publication date: 17th May 2018
Author: Sally Bayley
Publisher: William Collins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 288 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Memoirs, Literary companions, book reviews & guides,

About Sally Bayley

Sally Bayley is a Teaching and Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford and from September 2018 she will be teaching writing in Oxford as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Sally has written widely on visual responses to literature, including a jointly authored study of Sylvia Plath's relationship to the visual arts: Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual and a study of Plath as a cultural icon: Representing Sylvia Plath. In 2010 she completed a cross-media study of Emily Dickinson as a way of thinking about America's relationship to space and place: Home on the ...

More About Sally Bayley

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