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About purplebongowoman

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  1. Hambledon Infant school 1961-2 The Priory Convent School, Henley-on-Thames 1963-4 Medmenham Primary School 1965-67 Kidmore End Primary School 1967-8 Chiltern Edge Secondary School 1968-70 Henley Grammar School, 1970-71 Peers School, Littlemore, Oxford 1971-5 Southampton University 1976-9 Chichester and Graylingwell School of Nursing 1979-82
  2. What an brilliant tale! I was reading it till three in the morning. Each chapter left you hanging, desperate to read the next. I will definitely look out for Andrew Taylor's other books.
  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Hortense was clearly a difficult character for many readers. What struck me was the way in which she was humiliated by her fellow Jamaicans for being illegitimate. The colour prejudice in Jamaica was very interesting. Hortense was light skinned, therefore she managed to pass as a member of a higher social class, but she did not attain her goal of teaching upper class girls, because of her background. She loved Michael but he was taken away from her, and she was made a scapegoat for his disgrace. Somehow she has to retain some self-respect and pride in herself, so she comes across as being very haughty and almost ruthless in her treatment of others.
  4. I found this book very sad. It is set in post apartheid South Africa. A young doctor is posted to a hospital in one of the homelands set up during the apartheid regime. He is idealistic about the future, and wants to be part of the new South Africa, but he is destroyed by the old. The evil is insiduous, men following their own appetites, standing by when atrocities are committed. There is a sense of hopelessness. It left me feeling quite depressed. The alienation between black and white was starkly portrayed.
  5. I went through a phase of loving female heroes, preferably orphans or abandoned children. Anyone else read The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald? I read this story over and over again. A Little Princess and The Secret Garden both by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The E. Nesbit books.....I loved all these: The Railway Children, Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet. I tried them with my kids and they found the language too difficult and old fashioned.
  6. I gave this to my teenage daughter (19) who always seems to be mooning over men who can't commit/have to find themselves/are still getting over their last relationship which finished x years ago. I think it gives some pretty sound advice, and presents scenarios that many women will be familiar with. Like all these books, it should be taken with a dose of fun, but it does make you reflect on patterns in your own life, and that can't be a bad thing.
  7. I highly recommend this book. It takes a chronological approach, and then within that focuses on particular time-frames, often juxtaposing accounts from opposing sides. I found the accounts of the war on the Eastern front particularly revealing, not knowing so much about this. Most English studies focus on the Western Front. Most of the accounts are taken from diaries, two of which were written by children. It is very moving and brings home to the reader the unexpected horror of the battlefield and the devastation that was wrought to people's lives.
  8. How old is your son? My 11 year old son was a competent but reluctant reader for many years, but took off with Anthony Horowitz' Alex Rider books:Point Blanc, Stormbreaker, Eagle Strike. I can't remember what order they come in. Alex Rider is a teenage James Bond who beats all the bad guys. It's action packed, and well written. He's also written books for younger readers. All of them were at our local library.
  9. Yes the plot was pretty transparent. It held me because I liked the hero, and the quality of writing was excellent. The corruption at the heart of the city pervades the book. Echoes of Kafka, with Gothic overtones!
  10. Have just joined Napster for a few months to listen to some new music. The Chemical Brothers latest album "Push the Button" is my favourite at the moment.
  11. How could you have not seen The Sound of Music? You must have actively avoided it. I've seen it about ten times, and never intentionally.
  12. Definitely a woman! My grandmother met her on a ship going from CapeTown to England in the 70s, so I have an autographed copy of "The Boy Pharaoh Tutankamun".
  13. Have just finished this. Quite light reading, but well constructed. Set on Easter Island, there are two main stories running in different time periods. Theme is love and disillusionment with a strand of hope. Maybe trying to make a statement about the sacrifices women make for love. I read it in one sitting, so good for the plane.
  14. I loved this book. No neat happy endings and a lot of sadness. I think a lot of people will recognise bits of their own lives in this story.
  15. Great read. I couldn't put it down. Bob comes across as an unformed character seeking his place in the world. The pleasure came from the portrayal of Texan life and values, and the way history shapes a place and its people.
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