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The Rose and the Yew Tree Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; Unabridged edition (January 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007415885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007415885
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,209,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Quiet and intelligent, with class distinctions which motivate its characters.' Books 'Miss Westmacott writes crisply and is always lucid... much material has been skilfully compressed.' Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
"The Rose and the Yew Tree" is one of six novels Agatha Christie wrote under the pen name of Mary Westmacott. None are mysteries, more affairs of the heart, a "novel or romance and suspense" as it's billed. It is a unique experience reading such a famed novelist from an entirely different perspective, and while the story moves briskly, I'm not too sure there is much to the story at hand.

The tale is narrated by Hugh Norreys, a man who was cripples and paralyzed in an automobile accident on the day he was set to run away with the woman he loved. At the beginning of the novel he is called to the sick bed of a man who was never quite his friend, John Gabriel. Hugh's reencounter with Gabriel after so many years sets in motion the telling of how the two men first met and parted as enemies. After his release Hugh resided with his artist brother, Robert, and sister-in-law Teresa, in St. Loo, a small Cornish town on the verge of a Parlimentary election. Gabriel was the candidate put forth and Hugh, the perfect listener whether he wanted to be or not, found himself privy to the secrets and gossip of the town. He is inexplicably drawn, as is Gabriel, to the young Isabella, certain heir to St. Loo Castle who is awaiting the return of her knight in shinning armor. Both men act very differently towards her yet neither truly understands why she makes the decision that she does in the end.

Agatha Christie was a very talented writer proven by the fact that her works have stood the test of time. Originally published in 1947, "The Rose and the Yew Tree" makes use of some very contemporary elements, and while dated in our time, the emotions that drive these characters remain universal. I'm not sure whether I really liked "The Rose and the Yew Tree" but I know I did not dislike it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on October 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
You don't find out until the very end what the meaning of the title is, but it comes from a quotation by T S Eliot, ":The moment of the rose, and the moment of the yew tree, are of equal duration." That's from "Little Gidding" (1942), the last of Eliot's Four Quartets, thus it was very much a contemporary poem for Christie, who published this novel under her pseudonym Mary Westmacott in 1947. The whole novel is filled with impossible time schemes, for the main events take place at the very end of World War II, in the summer of 1945 when the Labour party mounted a landslide victory against the Conservative party dominated by Churchill, and Christie's fictional protagonist John Gabriel is put forward by the local Tories of Cornwall even though he isn't very much of a gentleman, in order to appeal to a changing political climate. Then another patch of the story happens in the autumn of 1947, when the narrator Hugh Norreys encounters two of the Cornish characters in a faraway Balkan city ("Zagrade"). In other words, this must have been around the time that Christie was actually writing the novel. And yet as we experience the frame story surrounding these events, we experience is as happening at a much, much later date than this 1947 date. At least I would think it would be at least a decade if not two or three for John Gabriel, Christie's doomed politician, to transmute himself into "Father Clement," the romantic, saintly Mother Teresa of the apocalyptic Cold War period Christie imagines is going to happen.

For much of the book, as others have noted, THE ROSE AND THE YEW TREE is a novel about disability; our hero has been involved in a terrible traffic accident and he is rendered almost wholly immobile. The tiny town of St.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Adams on December 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
The story is fascinating... very suspenseful, and beautifully told. But the people involved are just not very likeable. I really disliked Isabella. Or perhaps not so much Isabella herself as the way the narrator idolized her. He seems to think she is pure and good, just because she is beautiful and apparently lives in a dreamy world of her own. She doesn't actually DO anything that is good or praiseworthy, and eventually she betrays her family and her fiance to run off with a wicked man who doesn't even love her. Yet the narrator insists on projecting his own feelings onto her. He assumes that because he personally is attracted to her in a pure, chivalric way, she must therefore be "worthy" of these feelings (which she never sought and does not return) in some mysterious way that is never explained. I got quite impatient with him by the end, because he insists on worshiping this girl that neither deserves it or desires it. He tortures himself needlessly in the process. The author seems to be trying to make the point that actual people are quite different from our perceptions of them, but I am not sure this is the best way to illustrate that point. The main conclusion I drew was: this man is a fool!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Warning. This is not your typical Agatha Christie. This isn't even a typical mystery. It's a tragedy, a gothic and a love story about an ethereal young woman, the three men who loved her and the fruit of her incredible sacrifice.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Georgia on October 16, 2002
A great story, lots of twists and turns to see where it is going. The narrator gives a fascinating look at what it's like to be disabled.
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