Edith & Oliver: A Sunday Times Book of the Year (Hardback)Michele Forbes (author)
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A SUNDAY TIMES MUST READ: 'A tender and vivid novel about a failing marriage set in the milieu of the Edwardian music hall'
Edith was born into a different world. But her rebellious nature brought her to the seedy glamour of the music hall, where she plays the piano by night.
Oliver is an illusionist. And he is a man of ambition. He wants to tour the world, to pioneer ground-breaking illusions.
History and fate have other ideas.
When Edith and Oliver meet they fall headlong in love. But their children arrive as the world begins to change, as cinemas crowd the high street and the draw of the music hall wanes.
What follows is a struggle: against the trials of marriage, against the march of time, and against Oliver's flaws - flaws that may cost them everything.
'A writer who is not afraid to address the so-called ordinary lives of real human beings' John Banville on Michele Forbes
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 652 g
Dimensions: 238 x 156 x 37 mm
Forbes writes beautifully... She is also particularly insightful on the internal torment of a man brought down by the slow growth of self-deception. * DAILY MAIL *
Forbes's imagery shows her obvious talent . . . Her insight into the world of performance and talent - particularly wasted talent turned rancid - is astute * Irish Times *
Edith & Oliver is a very well-written novel. Forbes' use of language is lyrical and evocative: you can almost taste the food, feel the chill of dreary boarding-houses, hear the applause or jeers of theatre audiences... I'd definitely recommend it. * Irish Independent *
The novel tells a painfully sad tale, but Forbes imbues it with such wit and tenderness for her damaged characters that it remains a pleasure to read. * Sunday Times *
Atmospheric... This long gone vaudeville world is engagingly brought to life by Forbes... Forbes's debut novel Ghost Moth was highly praised. This painstakingly descriptive and atmospheric follow-up by the Belfast-born author deserves to be equally well regarded. * Sunday Business Post *
Clever, unpredictable, beautifully written and crafted - Ghost Moth stayed with me for a long time after I'd finished reading the final, sad, wonderful page -- Roddy Doyle on Ghost Moth
Deeply - sometimes erotically - charged. The writing soaks up the world, and thrills to the beauty of it...Katherine Bedford - so ordinary and so passionate - is a heroine to treasure -- Anne Enright on Ghost Moth
An impressive debut by a writer who is not afraid to address the so-called ordinary lives of real human beings. We shall be hearing a great deal more from Michele Forbes -- John Banville on Ghost Moth
A bountiful river of lovely images, fresh and perfect, a triumphant story both familiar and strange. A stellar debut -- Sebastian Barry on Ghost Moth
This beautifully written first novel is about the kind of love that can never be blotted out... a tender, heartbreaking story about choices made and secrets kept too long -- Kate Saunders on Ghost Moth * THE TIMES *
An impressively sure-footed debut, lyrical and contemplative in equal measure * THE MAIL ON SUNDAY on Ghost Moth *
A delicate and unusual endeavour to write about ordinary people in a way that is so realistic that it almost reads like memoir. The passages evoking Katherine's children are outstanding. The meditations on maternal and marital love verge on the profound. And the ending will bring a lump to your throat. -- Claire Kilroy on Ghost Moth * THE GUARDIAN *
Michele Forbes' startlingly assured debut has already won praise from those giants of Irish literature John Banville, Anne Enright and Roddy Doyle, and rightly so... Lyrical and at times almost unbearably tender (the final scenes between Katherine and George will break your heart), Forbes delicately captures the echoes of history that pierce the present -- Jane Clinton on Ghost Moth * SUNDAY EXPRESS *
This moving story is beautifully written, with powerful imagery and prose that becomes quite mesmerising at times. An astonishingly accomplished debut by actress-turned-author Forbes, this haunting novel will linger in your mind -- Deidre O'Brien on Ghost Moth * SUNDAY MIRROR *
I was thoroughly caught up in this beautifully written debut novel. Set in Northern Ireland, in 1949 Katherine must choose between George Bedford and Tom McKinley. What happened that summer will haunt Katherine and George 20 years later, when they try to save their marriage. -- Fanny Blake on Ghost Moth * WOMAN & HOME *
Before this amazingly assured and beautifully executed first novel, Belfast-born Forbes worked as an actor, and this shows how seamlessly a performer can morph into a creator... Forbes is intelligent, humorous and occasionally heartbreaking; a very safe bet for the next round of literary prizes * SAGA on Ghost Moth *
Eloquently written and full of lyrical descriptions, Ghost Moth shines a light on everyday lives and offers the reader some unforgettable characters * CHOICE on Ghost Moth *
Forbes, who has already won major awards for her short stories, knows how to write - her prose is unfailingly elegant - her images are often arresting... the book confirms its author as an exceptional talent -- John Boland on Ghost Moth * BELFAST TELEGRAPH *
Ghost Moth takes place during the Troubles, but it is far from just another book about them. Lyrical and beautifully written, it uses the outbreak of the Protestant/Catholic struggles and IRA bombings in the Sixties as a backdrop, but it is more of a character study and riveting family drama - concerned with the secrets, lies and hidden torments between those one is closest to, and the heartbreak of lost love. * THE BOOKSELLER on Ghost Moth *
A beautifully written debut. Confident and lyrical. Michele Forbes is a name to watch * IRISH EXAMINER on Ghost Moth *
Quiet tragedy in the ordinary lives of real human beings... Michele Forbes' first novel has been heaped with praise and rightly so... as the book proceeds, it darkens, vividly evoking the divisions and bitterness that erupt with the onset of the Troubles. * IRISH INDEPENDENT on Ghost Moth *
Forbes' writing possesses a stealthy power, and her patient layering of the story results in a surprising emotional impact by the time the final page is turned. * THE LIST on Ghost Moth *
Ghost Moth, Michele Forbes' exquisitely written debut, handles love, loss and silence with a delicate, nuanced touch... From its striking opening sequence to its heartrending closing passage, Forbes' novel is beautifully expressed, so accomplished that it's hard to believe that it's her first -- Susan Osborne on Ghost Moth * www.alifeinbooks.co.uk *
It isn't often that a book makes me cry; makes me experience a deep anguish that the characters have spent their lives living with a painful regret that taints everything they do, blotting out the joy they should be experiencing in the present moment; leaves a tiny fragment of itself inside me to ponder over. Michele Forbes's debut novel, Ghost Moth, is such a book... Ghost Moth is beautifully written with descriptive, engaging prose rich with symbolism and metaphor that places the reader in the moment with exactness and great skill -- Julie Fisher on Ghost Moth * Bookmunch.wordpress.com *
A subtle, passionate story of private grief set against public crisis * FORBES MAGAZINE on Ghost Moth *
A very promising debut novel with flashes of brilliance and a poetic heart...a deeply moving examination of the minutiae of everyday life * http://www.lovelytreez.com on Ghost Moth *
The intensely lyrical Ghost Moth...is in part a meditation on differing forms of love...The 'ghost moth' of the title flutters through the novel, alighting on various pages. As Katherine explains to her daughter, 'Some people believed that ghost moths were the souls of the dead waiting to be caught.' In this affecting portrait of lost love and a lost city, Forbes catches those souls beautifully * THE SPECTATOR on Ghost Moth *
The author expertly maps the routines of family life an domesticity in ways both romantic and familiar. The scenes in which Katerine enjoys the company of her four young children during the summer holidays aredelightful... It is to the author's credit that this book, so carefully contextualized as it is, never feels like a glib denunciation of The Troubles * TLS on Ghost Moth *
An evocative sense of time and place, flawed characters and some hauntingly lyrical prose - this book delivers at every level... for a debut novel, it's outstanding * NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE on Ghost Moth *
Ghost Moth is very good. It's beautifully written... Forbes has a lightness of touch. Her dialogue is superb. -- Thomas Quinn on Ghost Moth * THE BIG ISSUE *
Forbes' writing is exquisite. Everything you read is suffused through with meaning. From the opening scene of Katherine staring the seal in the face to the very end with Elsa, there is a hidden depth to everything. It's difficult to believe this is a debut novel - Forbes seems like she's an old pro at the form. For those who want to see how a novel should be done, Ghost Moth is a worthy read. It's as good inside as the cover makes it look. -- Sarah Shaffi on Ghost Moth * http://girlreporter.blogspot.co.uk *
A serious-minded novel (novella really) which treats a familiar and quintessential human predicament with poetry, sensitivity and no little skill, not least in including a magical and unexpected coda over which hovers the eponymous Ghost Moth -- Andrew Green on Ghost Moth * CLASSICAL MUSIC *