Book - 2008
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Accompanied by two young children, Olivia has left a violent marriage and returned to her childhood home, an austere chateau surrounded by formal gardens. In this brittle world of emotional control everyone tries to hold themselves together as a tragic secret pushes them towards breaking point .

Publisher: London Faber & Faber 2008
ISBN: 9780571238972
Characteristics: 120


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Dec 05, 2009

**spoiler alert** Not bad and has the advantage of being really short, but because it's short, I took the opportunity to re-read it and it didn't quite stand up to the second-time-through test. The style is economical and slightly eccentric with odd choices of words to set you slightly off-balance and the imagery is crystal-clear, in fact, cinematic. I could easily see this as an art-house film, with moody lighting and little background music. I'm not sure how uplifting it is to read about this highly dysfunctional family, but they do seem to be choosing life as the book closes. Much of the plot revolves around a tragedy involving a child, so be warned.

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