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The Telling (2008)

de Jo Baker

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1035204,022 (3.23)4
"A ghost story of the most unusual kind, The Telling is a thrilling--and sometimes chilling--tale about two women, separated by almost two centuries, grappling with change and loss"--
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Es mostren totes 5
The Telling by Jo Baker is a recommended, atmospheric ghost story that alternates between two time periods, contemporary and Gothic.

Rachel's mother has died and she has went to pack up and clean out the house called Reading Room Cottage that her parents had purchased for a vacation home for their retirement. She had planned to get the chore done quickly, especially since she left her husband Mark, and a new baby at home, but soon realizes that it is going to take longer. Two centuries before this, housemaid Lizzy had lived in the same house. Lizzy found the books of their new lodger, Mr. Moore, irresistible. Today, Rachel is inexplicably drawn to the bookcase and certain books and titles that Lizzy previously read.

Baker brings the lives of both woman into sharp focus in alternating chapters, although the period details and class inequalities of Lizzy's time will appeal much more to those who enjoy historical fiction. While this is a ghost story, this is not a creepy novel. It consists more of two parallel stories that are set in the same cottage. The actual haunting doesn't really feel convincing to me.
Nothing firmly connected the two women beyond the cottage itself.

The writing is quite good and the historical descriptions interesting, but, even though I enjoyed the book, it ended up being a satisfactory read but nothing special for me. Lizzy's story was more compelling than Rachel's for me.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Vintage for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
An absorbing novel about two women, one contemporary and the other from the mid-1800s in the same house in an English village.

Rachel comes to the small house where her parents had meant to retire—until her mother got cancer and died. She is there to pack up their things and sell it. Once there, she is spooked by ghosts in the house–or is she going crazy? Jo Baker leaves us in delicious suspense while Rachel explores the story of Elizabeth, a woman who once lived there. Both women’s characters are fragile and confused. As Rachel is still reeling from her mother’s death, Elizabeth is discovering that both love and the written word have a cost.

Read more: http://wp.me/p24OK2-1pr ( )
  mdbrady | May 17, 2015 |
When Rachel sets off alone for her mother's isolated country house, she promises herself that the business of packing up and selling will only take a couple of weeks, and then she'll be home again, and back to normal. But from the moment she steps through the front door, Rachel feels that the house contains more than she had expected: along with the memories of her mother, there is something else, a presence - not quite tangible - trying to make itself felt. As Rachel struggles to put her mother's affairs in order, she grows ever more convinced that the house holds a message for her. Can the ghosts of the past be nudging their way into the present, or is Rachel really beginning to lose her mind?

My Thoughts:

This is another story that is told past and present, which I have to admit I really have a liking for.

This story however I felt let down with. What the story needed for me was tha past and present to be brought together. It didn’t need much, maybe Rachel had to find Elizabeth’s diary and their connection was the house, or they shared a bloodline. Without a connection then past and present dosen’t seem to work.

Overall I enjoyed the story. I could see where the past was going with Elizabeth but felt nothing much happened with Rachel. I didn’t think it was very creepy as their was a ghostly presence.

But… I enjoyed the book and felt it was a nice easy read and would look out for more books by Jo Baker. ( )
1 vota tina1969 | Feb 23, 2013 |
Eine atmosphärisch dichte, leicht melancholische Erzählung, die die moderne Zeit mit der Zeit von vor ca. 130 Jahren vermischt und zwei Frauenschicksale damit einander gegenüberstellt. Die Entwicklung der Charaktäre braucht etwas, aber wie in einer Art Kriminalgeschichte fügt sich aus Einzelteilen allmählich ein Bild. ( )
  ahzim | Oct 15, 2012 |
Yet another tale of two timelines; it’s an excessively popular plot device these days. Sometimes it works pretty well. Others – here, for example – not so much.

The two strands concern Rachel, a modern housewife, suffering from depression following her mother’s death but settling in to pack up her parents’ almost-unused country retreat for sale; and Lizzie, a maidservant from the mid-19th century, whose life is disrupted when her father takes in a lodger who proves to be that most dangerous thing, a Chartist. Full points to the author for getting Chartism into a romantic novel, but she doesn’t manage to make it very interesting, and the modern-day story is even less so. Nor is there anything very substantial to tie the two strands together. True confession: I read about half this book a couple of years ago, then put it down and didn’t pick it up again until the other day, when I decided to finish the thing just out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Another one for Oxfam, I fear. ( )
  phoebesmum | Sep 10, 2012 |
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A marriage, a birth, a death. This wasn’t a life. It was nothing like it. Life’s what happens in between. The tease of a flame at a dry twig. Snowflakes melting in upturned palms. The drip of chlorinated water from soaked curls, lips unsticking in a smile, outstretched arms with fingers crooked to coax a child into swimming. The dip of the tongue’s tip to the palm of the hand to lift a sweet blue pill from a skin-crease. These tiny things that change the world, minute by minute, and forever. These perishable moments, that are gone completely, if we don’t take the trouble of their telling.
… most of all, I felt angry with myself. Other hands may have cut out the pieces, but I had sewn every stitch of my situation.
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"A ghost story of the most unusual kind, The Telling is a thrilling--and sometimes chilling--tale about two women, separated by almost two centuries, grappling with change and loss"--

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