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Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty
  

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 31 March 2011.

One of the 20 Longlisted titles for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011.

A heart-wrenching novel of revenge, compulsion and desire from acclaimed novelist Louise Doughty.

When any parent has to face the worst thing that can happen to them, it defines their life with a
sharp line dividing line between before and after the event. You are the same person - your mind is the same and your muscles are the same. You feel you must do something to bring your old life back.

But, of course, you can't. This book skilfully explores the depth of a woman's emotion as she faces the consequences of a shattering loss. It reveals the most basic of human feelings - sorrow, despair, anger and, of course, revenge.

Through the media, we see and read statements by families who have had to face terrible person loss as a result of an evil or irresponsible stranger's actions. They say they seek 'justice' or that 'justice has been done'. But justice won't bring their loved one back. 'Revenge' is not justice. As this book shows revenge can lead one down a dangerous and horrendous path. Revenge is pay-back time and, as such, might bring satisfaction. But does it really? Again, it won't turn the arrow of time or bring one's loved one back. Revenge leads to consequences, not closure.

This is what this book is all about. Well worth a read.

If you like Louise Doughty you might also like to read books by Helen Fitzgerald, Maggie O'Farrell and Helen Dunmore.

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Synopsis

Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty

Two police officers knock on Laura's door and her life changes forever. They tell her that her nine-year old daughter Betty has been hit by a car and killed. When justice is slow to arrive, Laura decides to take her own revenge and begins to track down the man responsible. Laura's grief also re-opens old wounds and she is thrown back to the story of her passionate love affair with Betty's father David, their marriage and his subsequent affair with another woman. Haunted by her past, and driven to breaking point by her desire for retribution, Laura discovers the lengths she is willing to go to for love.

Reviews

Doughty creates a haunting, heart-wrenching portrait. Psychologies The opening chapter is electrifyingly painful. From then on the reader is spellbound ... the book is hauntingly believable ... so powerful is the evocation of raw emotion that, the day after i finished it, I woke up with that same feeling. It was some minutes before I realised I was still inside Doughty's book. -- A N Wilson Readers Digest It is an extraordinarly opening, written with such taut understatement that the mother's grief is given a visceral power: we empathise with it immediately ... Whatever You Love is a masterfully constructed novel, at once gripping and tender ... The emotional power of Doughty's prose is such that the reader is complicit in Laura's journey from loss to retribution. Doughty forces us to confront the darkness that lies beneath the skin. The result is a brilliant and brutal novel that continues to unsettle long after the final page has been turned. Observer Absorbing Grazia A stunning tale of grief and the lengths to which a woman must go to come to terms with it. Woman and Home Brilliant, disturbing, heart-wrenching. Daily Mirror


About the Author

Louise Doughty

Louise Doughty is the author of seven novels, including the Top Ten bestseller Apple Tree Yard. Her sixth novel, Whatever You Love, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has also won awards for radio drama and short stories, along with publishing one work of non-fiction, A Novel in a Year, based on her popular newspaper column. She is a critic and cultural commentator for UK and international newspapers and broadcasts regularly for the BBC. She is a former judge of the Man Booker Prize, was Chair of Judges for last year’s Desmond Elliott Award, and a judge for the 2015 Costa Book of the Year Award. She lives in London.

Author photo © Charlie Hopkinson

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Book Info

Publication date

6th March 2014

Author

Louise Doughty

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Author's Website

www.louisedoughty.com/
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Publisher

Faber & Faber

Format

Paperback
320 pages

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780571313440

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