book reviews , different studio guests each week. Join us every Thursday between 12 and 1pm on Radio Scilly 107.9fm or log on to radioscilly.com.

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Friday, 13 September 2013

Rachel Hore - THE SILENT TIDE

reviewed on recorded show by Babs Simpson for 12th Sept 2013
 
I AM STILL READING THIS BUT WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT IS VERY SPECIAL.  IT IS TWO STORIES IN ONE - FIRSTLY OF RICHARD BARBER WHO, IN THE EARLY 1950'S, LEAVES HOME TO GET AWAY FROM THE FATHER SHE CANNOT LOVE.  SHE MOVES TO STAY WITH AN AUNT IN LONDON AND GETS A JOB WITH A SMALL PUBLISHING HOUSE.  SHE LOVES HER WORK AND HAS A NATURAL TALENT FOR SPOTTING NEW WORK AND MAKING HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS TO AUTHORS FOR IMPROVEMENTS.
THE OTHER STORY CONCERNS EMILY GORDON AND IS SET IN THE PRESENT DAY.  EMILY IS ALSO IN PUBLISHING IN LONDON - NOW A VASTLY DIFFERENT BUSINESS FROM RACHELS TIME.  MOST OF THE SMALL PUBLISHING HOUSES HAVE BEEN CONSUMED BY THE CONGLOMERATES BUT EMILY TOO ENJOYS HER WORK AND IS GIVEN THE TASK OF HELPING A FREE-LANCE WRITER WITH HIS BIOGRAPHY OF HUGH MORTON WHOSE NOVEL, THE RISING TIDE, WAS AN ACCLAIMED BEST-SELLER IN THE 1950'S.  THAT TITLE IS A REFERENCE TO THE DREADFUL FLOODS IN EAST ANGLIA IN 1952 THAT COST SO MANY LIVES AND IS A MENACING PRESENCE THROUGHOUT THE NARRATIVE.
INEVITABLY THE TWO STORIES ARE INTER-TWINED AND FULL OF INTRIGUE.  HUGH MORTONS FIRST WIFE WAS ISOBEL BARBER BUT HIS SECOND WIFE, JACQUELINE, BARELY ACKNOWLEDGES HER EXISTENCE AND THERE ARE MANY TWISTS AND TURNS AS THE STORY PROGRESSES.
RACHEL HORE IS A BRILLIANT WRITER.  SHE CROSSES EFFORTLESSLY BETWEEN THE 1950'S AND THE PRESENT DAY AND THE READER IS NEVER CONFUSED.   THE SETTINGS AND PEOPLE ARE ALL EXACTLY RIGHT FOR THEIR TIME AND THE BOOK IS GLORIOUSLY ABSORBING AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN - TO QUOTE NOVELIST OF TODAY.  I AM ABSOLUTELY MESMERISED BY THIS STORY.  IF YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THE JOYS O KATE MORTONS BOOKS YOU WILL CERTAINLY LOVE RACHEL HORE - SHE IS A FINE NOVELIST.

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