Victoria Park (Hardback)Gemma Reeves (author)
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'Original, thought-provoking' - Elizabeth Macneal
'a delightful read . . . beautifully observed' - Daily Mail
Mona and Wolfie have lived on Victoria Park for over fifty years. Now, on the eve of their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary, they must decide how to navigate Mona's declining health. Bookended by the touching exploration of their love, Victoria Park follows the disparate lives of twelve people over the course of a single year. Told from their multiple perspectives in episodes which capture feelings of alienation and connection, the lingering memory of an acid attack in the park sends ripples of unease through the community. By the end of the novel, their carefully interwoven tales create a rich tapestry of resilience, love and loss.
With sharply observed insight into contemporary urban life, and characters we take to our hearts, Gemma Reeves has written a moving, uplifting debut which reflects those universal experiences that connect us all.
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 465 g
Dimensions: 223 x 146 x 28 mm
With shades of Elizabeth Strout, Gemma Reeves's riveting portrait of intertwining lives in London is what makes literary fiction great. Tackling life moments we can all recognise and relate to (from identity to longing), it's a portrait of a community underscored with genuine warmth for humans. -- Francesca Brown * Stylist *
The month of October finds ex-deli owner Wolfie smoking salmon for a party to celebrate 65 years of marriage to Mona. She is a Kindertransport survivor, like Wolfie himself, and if she is half lost to dementia, the half that remains is smart as paint. Over nine months, the lives of Wolfie and Mona play out alongside those of their neighbours around Hackney's 'People's Park'. All London life is in these pages, with human kindness, IVF, LGBT, and an acid attack, leading up to a touching ending. An exciting debut. -- Rose Shepherd * Saga Magazine *
A writer who exudes a generous playful intelligence, such bright, wise wit. Everything on the page is alive, each paragraph a fresh adventure - her writing gives a pure and rare pleasure. -- Samantha Harvey, bestselling author of THE WESTERN WIND * Samantha Harvey, bestselling author of THE WESTERN WIND *
I absolutely loved Victoria Park. It's a stunning portrayal of a London community, where moments of heartbreak, sympathy and joy cast deep reverberations. A triumph of compassion and redemption, the lives of the characters are so finely observed, they might be our own. It reminded me of Elizabeth Strout and Jennifer Egan, and I know I'll be thinking about Wolfie and Mona for months to come. -- Elizabeth Macneal (author of THE DOLL FACTORY)
Hugely empathetic, utterly absorbing and beautifully told, Victoria Park really captures something so bittersweet and so true about the struggles and joys that ebb and flow through all of the relationships that hold us together. -- Naomi Ishiguro, author of ESCAPE ROUTES * Naomi Ishiguro *
A book that drew me in with its charming concept only to reveal its darker side at the last minute. I was thoroughly enthralled with the inhabitants of Victoria Park, and couldn't help myself from curtain twitching into each one of their intriguing, moving, and complex lives. A fantastic book, and a wonderful achievement. -- Nick Bradley, author of THE CAT AND THE CITY
This kaleidoscopic debut portrays a London community reeling from an acid attack. Following rapid gentrification, the old East Enders rub along with the new - gangsters, tailors, yuppies and yogis. -- Madeleine Feeny * Mail on Sunday *
A complete joy of a debut, bright, observational and incredibly intimate, this book has lodged itself in my heart. Take twelve independent yet linked stories over twelve months about people who are connected to a London park community. The focus changes with each month, allowing individual stories to shine, yet they add up to a vibrantly wonderful whole. Gemma Reeves is beautifully eloquent, she has the ability with a few words, to give you admittance to someone's soul. While she creates penetrating access to each person, there isn't always a conclusion, instead life carries on, suggesting potential pathways. I fell in love with this powerfully blended infusion of life. The variety of characters, in age, personality, and beliefs crackle with energy. A new character might wander in for a few moments and then star in the next tale. Some connections may be obvious and linger, others lightly touch before moving on. The stories themselves tug at heartstrings and encourage thoughts to roam, the ending is simply divine and brought tears to my eyes. Thought-provoking and emotionally intelligent, Victoria Park slips with glorious ease onto our LoveReading Star Books list and is a Liz Pick of the Month, it really is very special indeed. -- Liz Robinson * Love Reading *
Told from the multiple perspectives of 12 characters whose lives revolve around the park, this is a delightful read that takes place over one year. [...] Tying them together is the park itself, month in, month out, beautifully observed over the seasons. -- Fanny Blake * Daily Mail *
A sharply observed debut novel that looks at the lives of 12 people over the course of a year. Big themes, such as dementia and the trials of IVF, are told with great sensitivity and insight. -- Zoe West * Woman's Weekly *
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“A beautiful novel”
I loved this book. Spanning a year in the lives of twelve Londoners, each month holds up a magnifying glass up to a different character, a different moment in time. Some we feel will be the defining event of a life,... More
Victoria Park is a beautifully crafted and moving novel about a community over the course of a year. In twelve linked stories, the lives of diverse residents of the park crisscross in subtle, revealing and surprising... More
“A thoughtful, evocative novel in twelve parts.”
A thoughtful, evocative novel in twelve parts that charts the lives of a group of the residents of the Victoria Park area of East London. Each story, for each month, is told from a different characters perspective.... More
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