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Viccie

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I came across a Patrick Gale I didn't know about at a second hand book sale and fell upon it. It ranks as one of the best books I've read this year.

 

Sophie, an incredibly bright 14 year old from a children's home wins a scholarship to Tathams, a highy academic boarding school that takes in a few girls. She forms a close but tumultuous friendship  with Lucas, Jewish and gay, and Charlie, with a desperately snobbish mother, who might or might be gay and through four years the pace gathers momentum to a climax, or rather two climaxes.

 

This isn't just a school story, and it's a very good one, it's also Sophie's story, her growing up, learning to stretch herself and think for herself, to juggle her two very different lives, terms at atop boarding school, holidays back in a children's him and Patrick Gale is also very good at writing from a female point of view.

 

Highly recommended.

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Patrick Gale is a great writer.  This is now on my Kindle.

 

I gave up my month in my IRL Book Club because I always feel like I am just about to quit.  But the person I gave it to has created HAVOC in the Book Club and I hope will be gone soon.  If so and I stay, I think I will pick a Patrick Gale book because I don't think he's as well known as he should be in the United States and I think I would like to solve that problem single-handedly.

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    • By Binker
      There are currently only 2 Patrick Gale books available in the United States, out of a total of 16 books.   I hope very much that his other books make their way over the pond because he is really quite a writer.
       
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      Thank you Viccie, for recommending Patrick Gale.  
    • By Viccie
      I don't understand why Patrick Gale isn't better known.  His novels have been coming out from the 80's, pretty everyone I know who has read one of his books then starts looking for his backlist, he gets brilliant reviews, he's gay (which isn't relevant in the big picture) but even one of the judges for the Green Carnation Prize (for LGBT fiction) admitted in a blog post that he'd never read Patrick Gale.  Why is a writer who is that talented so low on the radar?  Beats me, because he's terrifically readable. But then I admit I only started reading him about three years ago and I'd been vaguely hearing about him for years as a good writer but had never had the urge to pick one of his books up.
       
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      This review has been posted on Waterstones.com
      This is the first Patrick Gale book that I have read and I have enjoyed it very much indeed.
       
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      It must be admitted that the title of Patrick Gale's first novel, published in 1986, is weird, perhaps even to the point of being offputting. But the clue to its intepretation would appear to lie in the proverbial "pigs might fly" - which is generally used to imply that what is theoretically possible is, in a pragmatic world, extremely unlikely. And that we should all be getting on with "real life" instead of speculating and dreaming.
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