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The Great Lover: A Novel (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, June 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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More About the Author
She has held many fellowships, including the British Council Fellowship in Amherst, and the Creative Writing Fellowship at University of East Anglia, Norwich, where she taught on the Writing MA.
In 2006 she received an honorary doctorate in recognition of her writing and her work with new writers.
Her latest novel, The Great Lover, was selected as a Summer Read for 2009 by TV's Richard and Judy Book Club.
Jill Dawson is currently director of Gold Dust, a mentoring scheme which pairs new writers with big-name established writers. www.gold-dust.org.uk
Her own website is here: www.jilldawson.co.uk
Top Customer Reviews
This letter forms the basis for Nell's story. Beginning in 1909, she relates her life as a young woman working to support her brothers & sisters after their parents have died, and her meeting and infatuation with the young Cambridge student who comes to live at the Orchard. Rupert Brooke (his picture is above, beautiful isn't he?) is charismatic, charming, talented, even slightly wicked. Nell watches his interactions with women (and men) and despite both she finds herself romantically captivated and intellectually challenged by this fascinating man:
"Here we stop...and I acknowledge to myself the one hard fact that, despite my nature, it has taken me so long to face. There is no request Rupert could make of me that I would refuse. Whatever the pledge between me and God, this is the truth."
As a counterpoint to Nell's story, we get Rupert's own, told from his perspective in alternating sequences. Here it is revealed how much of his outer persona is a sham. He is terribly unsure of himself, sexually inexperienced, not confident of himself as a lover or a writer. He longs for peace, time to think and be alone with his thoughts, though he is constantly and almost randomly infatuated with different people:
"...There are only two ways of approaching relationships. One is only to allow love on the supposition that it may lead to marriage-the other is- the wandering way.Read more ›
In 1909 prim and proper housemaid Nell Golightly has watched Rupert's carouse and thinks he is shameless. Since her parents died, she vowed to never fall in love as that hurts the survivor. However, Nell falls into swooning lust when she runs into Rupert as he goes for a skinny dip swim. They begin a tryst, but he turns increasingly morose as his myriad of affairs leave him without solace at a time he grieves the death of his brother and doubts his poetry writing skills. Instead of turning to Nell, he rejects her for a Tahitian.
Nell makes this deep biographical fiction of the Pre WW I era British poet Rupert Brooke come alive as she tells the tale of a talented young man who confused making love with being in love while ironically he sought love everywhere he went. Although he is The Great Lover, in Nell's mind her Rupert also lacked confidence in sustaining and receiving love and his talent as a poet. Jill Dawson provides a powerful perceptive portrait of a man questing for love.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rarely do I give up on a book, but I just couldn't get past the first several pages and gave up. If you are British you will understand words that are unfamiliar to most American... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Virginia DeBolt
I have not read the book and limited number of reviews makes it difficult to create a good comment. I do think the book is severely overpriced. Read morePublished on January 29, 2014 by drhcruises