March 17, 2011

We Had it So Good - Linda Grant

It has been so long since I finished this book now that I hope my ever failing memory can do it justice!

My memory of some of the intricacies of the plot may be poor but I definitely remember the feeling of really enjoying the read and getting totally immersed in the characters Grant had written.

We Had it So Good is the story of Stephen Newman, an American born to immigrant parents who moves from sunny Los Angeles to attend university in England - and ends up staying.

The crux of the novel is the relationships Stephen has with the various people in his life but especially his wife, Andrea and his father. Through the book Stephen reflects on key moments and decisions in his life, trying to put together why he is where he is now.

I know I'm probably not making this sounds very interesting or intriguing but it truly is! Each of the characters are full of depth and complexity and I felt the novel was rich in ideas and plot.

This is the first fiction from Grant I have read but if her style is similar in her other works of fiction I will be seeking them out.


Unknown said...

I haven't read this one, but I was surprised it didn't make the Orange long list. So many people speak highly of it - I'll have to read it at some point.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

I've not read any Grant, but thanks to your effusive review of The Thoughtful Dresser I decided to read one of her books. And so just the other day my copy of The Thoughtful Dresser arrived in the post. Can't wait to read it! And, now it seems I may have to add another Grant title to my list of books to buy ;)

lovely treez said...

I enjoyed this and yes, I was also surprised it didn't make the Orange long list but then Maggie O' Farrell didn't either. I loved The Clothes on Their Backs and have a couple of her other books TBR.

anothercookiecrumbles said...

I would like to read this. I've only read one book by Grant (When I Lived In Modern Times) which I thought was well-written and worth a read - would definitely recommend that.

Thanks for your thoughts on this one - I'll be seeking it out,

Karen said...

Hi Jackie - I was surprised not to see it there too as I thought it was a really strong novel. But then again I haven't read most of the books that actually made it to the long list so maybe they are even better!

Hi Nadia - I think so! She is definitely my new author of the moment!

Hi lovely treez - I will have to move onto The Clothes on Their Backs next I think. I had comepletely forgotten about Maggie O'Farrell until you mentioned her - I can't believe she didn't make the Orange list!!

Hi anothercookiecrumbles - another one of Grant's to add to my list - thanks!!

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