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A fascinating insight into a wireless engineers life during the war, how he lost his new wife and the lengths his new carer in the present day went to trying to find out the truth. Was Elsa a figment of Wills imagination or did she exist and if so where did she disappear to?
A young and innocent Will, a wireless engineer, meets Elsa, a refugee from Austria, during world war two and they fall in love and marry. After a night during which his street is bombed Will finds himself alone and disorientated. Seventy years later Laura becomes his carer and having suffered with mental health problems herself is determined to get to the bottom of where Elsa has disappeared to.
The book weaves its way between the war years and present day, with Will increasingly muddled and Laura wondering if she is capable of being the detective. Has Will made a mistake and Elsa is just a dream or does she really exist?
The story is based around Bath and the characters seem very lifelike and endearing, dementia and mental health being the main topics are tackled with empathy. A lot of research must have gone into the war years around Bath and the details of the wireless engineering. I found this book fascinating how it intrigues the reader into wondering whether Elsa existed, whether Will actually has dementia, or is it PTSD? Is Laura capable of sorting all of the clues and coming to an eventual understanding of what really happened all those years ago and how will it affect her in the present day?
I recommend everyone reads this book, you are compelled to keep reading.
It was intriguing the way it changed from before the war, during the war and its aftermath. The two main characters held centre stage and both believable. I understood about radios, my dad had a Crystal set when I was young, he fiddled with it constantly, what Will was dealing with was something on a different level, it was real to me.
I recommend everyone reads this book - a novel that has novelty in its pages. Mixed with originality you are compelled to keep reading. The ending was more than I had anticipated. I hope Keith Stuart keeps writing, I look forward to seeing what his next book will be.
An amazing story of what it means to help another human being. Unputdownable. A timeslip with heart. I have discovered a new author to follow.
I have to admit that the synopsis to this book drew me to read it. The writing kept me fascinated and the plot kept me reading until the end. I couldn’t put it down. Told in the first person with a number of points of view, the story ensured the reader could identify with each of the characters. It tells the story of Will who is caught in a bomb blast in 1942 and cannot find his wife, Elsa. In fact, according to everyone who knew him, he wasn’t married. The book moves forward and backwards between 1938 and 2008 as Laura, who is Will’s carer in his later years, is required to assess him for institutional care. As Laura becomes more involved with the strange old man, and helps him to find his way, she discovers herself, her courage, empathy and understanding in a world she doesn’t quite understand but is prepared to challenge.
This is an amazing story of what it means to help another human being. The characters are relatable. They are broken and need mending. The story is compelling and utterly unputdownable – a story you want to finish but don’t want to end. It is the first of Keith Stuart’s books that I have read, and I shall certainly be looking for more.
Writing and story-telling at its finest!
I have just one word to say after finishing The Frequency of Us, and that is – wow!
I don’t think I have ever come across a story quite like it and what a refreshing change it makes to read something so unique!
The wonderful thing about this book is that you never quite know what Laura is going to unearth next, or whether Will really is remembering events or slipping slowly into dementia.
Though the story-line is strong throughout this book and never lets up, for me, the characterisation is its best feature. Laura is so well-drawn, so likable, and so unselfish in her approach to others, that you genuinely champion her within just a few lines of meeting her.
The flip back between past and present is well-paced and smooth, and I found myself enjoying both.
This book offers such an invigorating change from the norm in its subject matter and is so well-handled by its author. I cannot find anything negative to say about The Frequency of Us. This is story-telling at its very best.
I was torn between rushing through to find out what’s really happened, and lingering over the book not wanting it to end.
This is a story with two main characters - Laura, a young woman with obvious issues struggling to find her proper place in the world, and Will, an elderly man who is misunderstood by the authorities. These two unlikely heroes meet when Laura is sent by her employer to assess whether Will is capable of looking after himself. His house is falling down around him and he has a fixation with his dead wife Elsa, a wife that nobody else remembers him having. All the records show him as single and living alone since WW2. There is a strange atmosphere in the house which intrigues Laura enough for her to start trying to get to the heart of his story.
The book is written in two eras, the present and wartime, but is easy to follow. The relationship between the two and the gradual explanation of the mystery are very well depicted. Laura, through her investigation, becomes stronger and the odd denouement seems to solve the mystery. There is an element of the supernatural in the story, clocks stop, a scent of violets wafts about and the house is obviously not as empty as it appears.
I was torn between rushing through to find out what’s really happened, and lingering over the book not wanting it to end. Well written, good character delineation, descriptive and detailed. I found it very enjoyable.
A beautiful novel that spans decades and tangles the reader up in the lives of the characters.
Wow, just wow. What a beautiful, moving novel that spans decades and tangles the reader up in the lives of the characters.
The story starts in 1942 with newly married Will Emerson and elsa Klien at home as a bomber raid starts on the city. A bomb is dropped on the house and the last thing Will remembers is being encased in white light, and then waking up in hospital. Discharging himself from hospital he heads home to find Elsa only to discover that no one else was inside the house - and every trace of Elsa is gone.
Fast forward to 2008. Laura has taken a temporary job in care while she picks up the pieces of her broken life. Her assignment is to work with a elderly man living in a crumbling house. She is told he is angry and cantankerous and Social Services need him assessed. Laura reluctantly accepts the assignment and goes to visit him. And here the two worlds collide.
Laura finds Will to be reluctant to engage with anyone. He eventually opens up to her about his story and how he is trying to find Elsa and work out what happened all those years ago. Laura begins digging into the past to try and find out just what happened Will and Elsa and she learns something about herself and her demons along the way.
Laura's struggles with anxiety are very real and written wonderfully realistically. The city and characters are beautifully created and I love how Keith Stuart can convey a sense of place in just a few words.
I can honestly say, Keith Stuart is becoming one of my favourite writers.
This story was one I didn't want to put down. Nothing was predictable and it willed me on to read late into the night.
Whilst reading The Frequency of Us by Keith Stuart I was hooked from the beginning and greatly impressed by his handling of emotive subjects and of people who feel alone in the world. His lead characters had depth and were both realistic and flawed. Laura who suffers from crippling anxiety is given a job by her Mum’s friend. She is asked to act as carer to Will, in his late 80s, to see if he is safe at home or needs residential care. Despite Will's resistant to support of any kind, Laura persists with him.
I soon found myself really investing in and caring about them both. Will seemed to live in the past, yearning for his wife, Elsa, though she was never recorded anywhere as living at that address. As the story unfolds, there is much second -guessing, The reader must decide whether they believe he really had lost his wife in a war time bombing, or had fantasised a relationship that never existed. Possibly dementia?
The dual timeline is cleverly thought out and perfectly handled. We learn about Will and Elsa's life during the war and back more recent times to find out more about Will and Laura in 2008. I felt myself desperately wanting Will to be telling the truth, and not a dementia victim. Laura keeps searching for clues despite having her own demons. We gradually begin to find out more. The story intertwines these separate lives in a beautiful way. I became desperate to reach the final outcome.
This story was one I didn't want to put down. The plot moved at a great pace and I very soon felt like I knew the main characters myself. Nothing was predictable and it willed me on to read more late into the night. The prose was a joy to read. This is a stunning and emotional novel full of mystery and with a thread of true love throughout.
I would highly recommend The Frequency of Us by Keith Stuart to other readers.
|Publication date:||25th March 2021|
|Publisher:||Sphere an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, Feel-Good Fiction, Historical Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Star Books,|
|Categories:||Religious & spiritual fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Second World War fiction,|