The winds of heaven

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Miriam — sharp, pre-occupied, but not cruel.

The Winds of Heaven

Husband Arthur — cross, irascibile. Daughter Ellen — sensitive, withdrawn, kind. Other children Simon and Judy — young, excitable. Indeed, the relative staying with various families is a plot Crompton uses more than once, and to great effect in Matty and the Dearingroydes.

FOR DISCERNING READERS

Having called this novel entertaining, I should add that its themes are often sombre. In the hands of Elizabeth Taylor this would be a subtly crafted, very moving story — in the hands of Monica Dickens, it is moving but never heartbreaking. Serious themes do not a serious novel make. Indeed, the novel is still more entertaining than it is cautioning or saddening.

The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens, A. S. Byatt | Waterstones

And which of us lives on Elizabeth Taylor alone? It is no mean feat to produce a loveable, engaging novel.

get link Thinking about it, The Winds of Heaven is the literary equivalent of The Archers … and that, my parents would assure me, can be no bad thing. I think my expectations for this were raised by having adored Mariana and One Pair of Hands. It is one of the few Persephone titles that I have read and not loved. It has been a while since I read it, but I remember thinking it was too simplistic in characters, plots, everything and that Dickens didn't have the flair to pull off ridiculous domestic melodrama that Whipple, for example, had.

I kept feeling like Dickens wanted me to feel sorry for Louise but I couldn't muster up any sympathy for a character who felt so unlike a real person. But speaking of Dickens, I picked up One Pair of Feet for fifty cents at a library book sale last week! I remembered that you hadn't loved it — I think that, as well as another Clare well, spelled differently!

I love a bit of ridiculous domestic melodrama occasionally, but I can't take it too seriously… just enjoyable fluff, despite the saddening themes. I really enjoyed this one too Simon. Must say though I cried over the ending and did feel terribly for Louise. I thought the family were all too believable even if you say roughly drawn.

I've been re-reading her children's books about World's End and am enjoying those as well. Oh Donna, you have a kinder heart than I do! I'm afraid I wasn't near tears, but I did think the bit where the daughters hung their heads was very moving, and the subtlest thing in the book. I have Mariana and another M. Dickens whose name escapes me on the shelves. Incidentally, it must have taken you ages to reply to all those comments.


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It was a timely post though, and much appreciated. As John Betjeman said in a Daily Telegraph review: 'Monica Dickens is one of the most affectionate and humorous observers of the English scene, particularly of the pretensions of genteel suburban life, that we have. Not only this, but she can always tell a good story, touch the heart with a pleasant sentimental grace… I think The Winds of Heaven is her best novel yet.

Here, in fact, is humour at its most kindly… How well she sees extraordinary in the ordinary, and how familiar she is with all kinds of people… Not a page of The Winds of Heaven is not enjoyable: here's a fine blend of comedy with sheer good sense. Read reviews about all Persephone books Read blogs about all Persephone books. We can send a book a month for six or twelve months - the perfect gift. Join our mailing list and receive our free Biannually magazine and Catalogue. Read what reviewers and bloggers have written about our books. Read our 'flipping' catalogue online: or of course do ask for a hard-copy version.

Read all thirty-two Quarterlies and twenty-four Biannuallies online. So lovely to have an excuse to read Persephone for four days. All sorts of things. My tastes have changed over the years. Often I read a mix of classics and modern novels. Some vintage books and mysteries. So glad you were able to participate in the readthon, and that you enjoyed The Winds of Heaven so much, Helen!

This does sound like a lovely read. I read Mariana by Monica Dickens earlier this month, and it may just be my new favorite Persephone. After enjoying this one so much, I really want to read Mariana now.

As a reader there is no greater joy than finding a new author to follow. Although, as I have some troublesome grown children myself, this one might be a bit too close to home for me. Yes, this might not be the best book for you to read! I have heard high praises for Winds of Heaven. The only book by Monica Dickens that i have read is her semi autobiographical A Pair of hands.

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It was a delightful read. That sounds like an interesting book. I would like to read that one, but I think I will probably try Mariana first. This is a really good one. Monica Dickens has a wonderful way of drawing you into the lives of her characters, and making them believable if not always likeable. There certainly was, but publishers like Persephone have made it easier for new readers to discover authors like Dorothy Whipple.

I love those endpapers. Monica Dickens is an author I read when I was very much younger, but I should give her another go — this one sounds brilliant.

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