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Not presents, not for themselves, it was the sensation of being given to, she was homesick for that.

And as in all those stories found in kids' books, of children having adventures unsupervised by parents (a few of which actually happen in Offshore as well), there are among these grown-ups the scattier people and the sensible ones who look after them. This is an interesting book with a cast of eccentric and intriguing people who live on houesboats along the Thames, at Battersea Reach. As I read Offshore, and stumbled over the baggage of Penelope Fitzgerald's crew of barge-dwelling characters, I was thrown off-balance many times.He lives on a converted minesweeper, not because he has to but because, having been a naval officer during the War, he just likes ships. The audiobook has three narrators—Stephanie Racine, Allan Hollinghurst and Jot Davies—the last being the one who reads Fitzgerald’s story and thus the most important. Like other readers, and unaware from my kindle of the brevity of the book, I made the mistake of reading too fast, rather than savour the striking prose and non sequiturs which hit home if you spend a little time on them.

But to sell your craft, to leave the Reach, was felt to be a desperate step, like those of the amphibians when in earlier stages of the world's history, they took ground. I suppose what really tickled was the dynamics between Nenna, the main character and her two potentials. Fitzgerald tells the story seamlessly, there is flow and character to the writing, but having won the Booker, I expected something more. I liked it very much, but was distracted with family stress when I read it, and probably won't say more about it until I get a chance to read it again.Then there is Nenna, an abandoned wife and mother of two young girls running wild on the muddy foreshore, whose domestic predicament, as it deepens, will draw this disparate community together.

Offshore is a dry, genuinely funny novel, set among the houseboat community who rise and fall with the tide of the Thames on Battersea Reach. I can only assume Nenna and Richard feel a stronger inexplicable affinity with the watery element than I. Instead of the foreseen happy, romantic ending, Nenna and the girls, under the direction of her sister, plan to set out for a new life in Canada, unhusbanded, and this time brother-in-law Joel's offer to teach her to fold a map has a jangle about it of unwanted intrusion, even mansplaining.The next day Richard is attacked by Harry and so badly injured he needs emergency surgery to save his life. There was never a minesweeper, but there was a torpedo boat, which has long gone from Chelsea but is apparently still intact and being made seaworthy again. In fact, tradition dictates that owners are addressed by the name of their boat, though that doesn't happen all the time, and one owner thwarts it by changing the name of his boat to match his own name. In Richard’s absence Nenna is unable to oppose Louise’s plan to take her and Tilda and Martha back to Halifax, where Louise has their lives planned.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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