LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Opposed Positions

by Gwendoline Riley

Opposed Positions Synopsis

At thirty, Aislinn Kelly is an occasional novelist with a near-morbid attunement to the motives of those around her. Isolated, restless and stuck, she decamps to America - a default recourse - this time to an attic room in Indianapolis, to attempt once again the definitive act of self-salvage. There are sharp memories to contend with as the summer heats up, and not least regarding her family history, now revealed as so botched and pitiful it seems it might yet cancel her out. She's spent years evading the attentions of her unstable, bullying father, only to find her mother now cowering in a second rancid marriage. There are also friendships lost or ailing: with bibulous playwright Karl, sly poet Erwin, depressed bookshop-wallah Bronagh, and Aislinn's best friend Cathy, who has recently found God... Finally her thoughts turn to her last encounter with Jim Schmidt, a man she's loved for ten years, hasn't seen for five, yet still has to consider her opposite number in life. Opposed Positions is a startlingly frank novel about the human predicament, about love and its substitutes, disgraceful or otherwise. Some of these people want to be free - of themselves, of each other - and some have darker imperatives. Wry, shocking, perfectly observed and utterly heart-breaking, the novel moves towards its troubling conclusion: a painful appreciation of what it is we've come from, and what we might be heading for.

Opposed Positions Press Reviews

Riley's appetite for risk-taking and vinegary apercus remains undiminished -- Emma Hagestadt * Independent * Never less than enthralling * Bookmunch * Although she works on a small canvas, Riley's work is both intricate and expansive. Her prose is a continual joy to read, and the detail immensely satisfying: she can squeeze more resonance out of a misplaced apostrophe than others can from baroque, technicolour trauma -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday * Scrupulous performance -- Kate Webb * Times Literary Supplement * Riley writes with a kind of defeated ecstasy -- Leo Robson * Sunday Times *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780099565192
Publication date: 2nd January 2014
Author: Gwendoline Riley
Publisher: Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 240 pages
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Gwendoline Riley

Gwendoline Riley was born in 1979 and has published four novels: Cold Water, which won a Betty Trask Award, Sick Notes, Joshua Spassky, which was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and won the Somerset Maugham Award, and Opposed Positions.

More About Gwendoline Riley

More Books By Gwendoline Riley

Cover for First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Cover for Sick Notes by Gwendoline Riley
Cover for First Love by Gwendoline Riley
View All Books By Gwendoline Riley

Share this book