A traveller on a train returning to London smells the burn of brakes as it hisses to a stop in the middle of the countryside. He sees a white-faced woman leap from the train and race to the aid of a sheep stranded on its back, unable to rise, in a field. Righting it, she turns, and he sees her face is full of tragedy. Considering tragedies of his own, he does not intrude, but the image lodges in his mind: a strange but familiar despair, unable, despite itself, to ignore the desperation it recognises in others.
From these seeds Mary Wesley draws out a plot of an unforgettable impact: of loss, of release, of a necessarily comic acceptance of fate, of love - the 'imaginative experience'. Rich in character and wit, and powerfully moving, this is a novel of the heart's pain and deliverance.
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Lightly entertaining and inconsequential
It reminds me a little of the film Sleepless in Seattle: lightly entertaining and inconsequential. The good characters need love and mothering, and the bad ones are enjoyably awful. Her observation of urban life is good though I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for acute insight. The dialogue is mostly well written but in a few places I thought it missed the mark.
The reading is gentle and pleasant to listen to though lacking expression in the dialogue. The production quality isn't as good as most audible books. The sound distorts slightly and the volume is unsteady. I still give it a solid 4 star recommendation, perhaps best for the holiday reading list.