Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Children's Book Paperback – August 10, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
Humphrey and Olive Wellwood live in an idyllic cottage called Todefright, where they host midsummer parties and watch as their brood of children (with special emphasis on their two eldest Tom and Dorothy) play in the sun. Olive is a successful children's writer, seeking new inspiration from Prosper Cain, a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, who in turn has two children: Julian and Florence. Connecting these two families with the third is Philip Warren, a lower-class runaway hiding in the museum, who is discovered by Tom and Julian and sent to become an apprentice to Benedict Fludd, a manic potter who lives with his vague, inert daughters, Imogen and Pomona. Secrets abound in each household: infidelities, political agendas, hidden pasts, simmering hatreds and changeling children.
At the book's core are the various relationships between parents and children; whether they be foster parents, illegitimate children, unwanted pregnancies, secret parentages, or even a play on the term that artists often use in referring to their work as "their children.Read more ›
However, it is not just the characters that make this novel compelling. Byatt wants you to feel how different this time period is from our own, although it's hardly distant. Olive's children run free through a kind of children's paradise. Their elders attend earnest lectures on the "Woman Question" and on the plight of the poor. Time moves slowly, before the invention of the motorcar. Female dress (described in lush detail by Byatt) dazzles, even as it conceals the ankles. Literature for children becomes an art form. Byatt's attention to detail is astonishing: the world of pottery, the world of folklore, the worldview of the Fabians.Read more ›
Sadly I was wrong, this book was not for me. I thought that the story started out interestingly enough, I enjoyed the scene in the museum with the children. I also enjoyed imagining the setting for the Midsummer celebration with the costumes and the Chinese lanterns. And my interest was peaked by the allusion to the sexual undercurrent between so many of the characters.
But the introduction of over thirty characters in the first one hundred pages was a bit overwhelming. As were the many references to the social and political groups unifying and dividing people during Victorian times. While I thought much of the information was interesting it was just too much all at once for this reader.
I think someone who is very familiar with specifics of the Victorian period would probably enjoy this book. For me it was just overwhelming and there wasn't a thread of suspense or intrigue that compelled me to continue reading the story. I didn't feel invested to find out what was going to happen and so I gave it up and didn't finish.
It's easy to see why some readers adore this novel and others not at all. I think this book will be enjoyed by a small cross section of the population. Unfortunately I am not among them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A work of historical literary fiction, The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt is also a study of the life of the artist, whether the artist is a writer, a potter, a puppeteer or a... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Susan Berry
No words do justice to this exquisitely crafted novel. I read an earlier review stating that many might not fully understand the novel's delicate poise juxtaposed with the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Emmy
In one memorable image (from a horror-tinged children's story penned by one of the main characters), a woman peers through a hole in the ground into a magical world, and can see... Read morePublished 7 months ago by leila
I tried "Possesiion" and gave up and picked up "The Children's Book" with some trepidation. I was almost immediately captivated. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Sarah Trevor
This is a book for very long winter nights and you should cut it up in sections of four or five chapters and distribute the sectionS among as many people as necessary and then... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
I really don't get what all the fuss regarding this book was about.
I got stuck in one of the earlier chapters
I adore this book. It's absolutely beautiful, inside and out. I wish I could read it again for the first time.Published 12 months ago by J. S. Haywood
This is a skillfully written novel.
If you like well researched and thoughtful period fiction then you'll like the book. Read more