Looking Forward to June



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Admiring (and Loving) The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore

I've been eyeing my library copy of The Greatcoat, and have been looking forward to the morning I could devote my attention to it. Well, that morning arrived today, and I am gobbling it up, though trying hard now to slow myself down so I can enjoy the wonderful writing.

I'm more than halfway at the moment, but this is a read that you could finish in a single afternoon or long evening. I want to make it last a bit longer. Just so I can think about it.

I have so identified with Isabel's pull to visit the WWII airfield in the village in East Anglia where, in 1952, she and her newly married husband, an intensely busy young physician, have moved after their honeymoon. Isabel, a graduate of university, has been told by the wife of the older doctor in the practice that "bookish types" don't get on well in this village, so she is lonely, though she makes stabs at being a proper young doctor's wife. Yet it is clearly not working well for her. She is just the person to be sensitive to a ghost and to a past that echoes on, especially at the airfield that she visits. She feels the past strongly within what is a rather dim present; and hence, her vulnerability to past lives living on.

So this is a haunting, ghostly tale, that is NOT in the slightest "paranormal." This is a real ghost story of the kinds real people experience in real life.

I am so keenly enjoying it that I will soon try others of Dunmore's oeuvre. I once read the early chapters of The Siege several years ago, but, for some reason, did not finish it.

Do you have a Dunmore novel that you would recommend?

5 comments:

  1. This is the second review of this book I have read recently - there were others I read when it was first published. It is now firmly at the top of my wishlist. I may treat myself to this at the end of the summer - funds permitting.

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    1. I guess I'm lucky to have libraries available, even though I'm in the middle of nowhere. Our inter-connected library systems truck books from town to outpost, and I think I take it for granted.

      I do hope you get a chance to read this one. It's well worth the trouble.

      Judith

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  2. I not read her but had said when I see this second hand I be getting it she based it partly on her own father who had such a coat she used sleep under as a kid she said in a interview her ,all the best stu

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    1. Stu,
      It's a quick but profound read. I believe you'll really like it. I do hope you come across it, though it is worth seeking out.
      Thank you for visiting!
      Judith

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