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The Children's Book

by A.S. Byatt

Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on The Children's Book

 

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009.

 

An engrossing family saga set in the era of the late 19th century and up to the end of World War One. A simpler time, soon to change politically and socially, is shown to us through three families and the way the parents of each raise their children.

 

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The Children's Book Synopsis

Olive Wellwood is a famous writer, interviewed with her children gathered at her knee. For each of them she writes a separate private book, bound in different colours and placed on a shelf. In their rambling house near Romney Marsh they play in a story-book world – but their lives, and those of their rich cousins, children of a city stockbroker, and their friends, the son and daughter of a curator at the new Victoria and Albert Museum, are already inscribed with mystery. Each family carries their own secrets.

Into their world comes a young stranger, a working-class boy from the potteries, drawn by the beauty of the Museum’s treasures. And in midsummer a German puppeteer arrives, bringing dark dramas. The world seems full of promise but the calm is already rocked by political differences, by Fabian arguments about class and free love , by the idealism of anarchists from Russia and Germany. The sons rebel against their parents’ plans; the girls dream of independent futures, becoming doctors or fighting for the vote.

This vivid, rich and moving saga is played out against the great, rippling tides of the day, taking us from the Kent marshes to Paris and Munich and the trenches of the Somme. Born at the end of the Victorian era, growing up in the golden summers of Edwardian times, a whole generation grew up unaware of the darkness ahead. In their innocence, they were betrayed unintentionally by the adults who loved them. In a profound sense, this novel is indeed the children’s book.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780099535454
Publication date: 07/01/2010
Publisher: Vintage an imprint of CCV
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780701183899
Publication date: 07/05/2009
Publisher: Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780701183899
Publication date: 7th May 2009
Author: A.S. Byatt
Publisher: Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage
Format: Hardback
Genres: Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,
Categories:

About A.S. Byatt

A. S. Byatt is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story writer and critic. Educated at York and Newnham College, Cambridge, she taught at the Central School of Art and Design, and was Senior lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. She was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999. Her most recent novel is A Whistling Woman, the conclusion of the famous 'Frederica' quartet.

More About A.S. Byatt

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