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by A S Byatt

It was June, and I was camping with my husband and 3 young children at a windy cliff-top site near Boggle Hole, Whitby. As light reading I had brought Possession. Light it isn't, being stuffed with letters and poems. Unfortunately it was unputdownable husband and children had to fend for themselves as I read, first by the car headlights and then by torch in the tent then next night

Like Fowles in The French Lieutenant's Woman, Byatt takes you into a previous era,with all its ideas and conversations, aspirations and fears. There is a strong sense of place: Whitby, Filey Brigg, Boggle Hole; and of ideology: spiritualism, utopian socialism, the ideals of the early Arts and Crafts movement. The characters feel real people, with 'unique, unrepeatable lives.'

It contains one no, two of the most moving love stories I have ever read. Also some of the best and funniest character delineations.

Don't be put off by the long letters and poems. You can skim through them if you want to though you will immediately want to go back and read them in full!.

Suggested by Pia, Darlington

Tagged with: unputdownable

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