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Turnstiles by [Raine, Andrea McKenzie]
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Turnstiles Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 305 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A prodigious inheritance from a negligent, departed father, given away on impulse, generates a domino-effect of lives altered, one after another. A fascinating read."
-- Pamela Porter, Governor General Award Winner in Children's Literature for The Crazy Man in 2005.

"Raine handles a long list of characters with dexterity, offering credible emotional histories."
-- Kirkus Reviews

From the Back Cover

An empathetic and honest portrayal of human beings attempting to redefine themselves against the friction of idealism's clash with societal expectations, Turnstiles is perfect for readers seeking a stirring, dramatic depiction of love, loss, impulse, and consequence.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1407 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Inkwater Press (December 17, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 17, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HFIXUES
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,126,160 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
*Please note: Some spoilers*

Andrea McKenzie Raine’s debut novel “Turnstiles” is a tale about three individuals whose lives intersect with one another in complex ways, illustrating the human condition through a kaleidoscope aimed at their stories. Each and every one of the main characters are all very unhappy with where their lives have brought them and their stories weave into one another in very intricate ways. Marty is homeless and aimless in life by choice, Willis is wealthy and misogynistic – not by choice. And then there’s Evelyn who is forced into the dark world of human trafficking—also not by choice. Their struggles stem from allowing others in their stories to define their own individual self-hoods, and ultimately they each try and break free from those invisible chains.

The author is a poet by nature, and this was demonstrated very eloquently throughout the novel. There were many wonderful glimpses of prose that would make any literary aficionado swoon. And every now and then when one of the author’s characters would stop what they were doing and allow the reader into their thoughts, their monologues were so beautiful it was like listening to the sound of rain—powerful and calm at the same time.

A reader may find themselves wrestling with many complexities of this book. Marty declares to the reader, within the first few pages that he is free. He doesn’t feel as though he belongs anywhere, and after gaining a new found fortune that takes him off the streets, he makes his way to Paris where he begins to feel as though he “might” belong. He often appears jealous of the lives of others and he uses his idealistic world view to cloak that insecurity. But then a few chapters afterwards, he declares that he wished he were free like others.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was blown away by the quality of writing in this novel. Some of the descriptions, particularly of the streets of Paris, are so beautiful that I found myself re-reading the same passages and savouring the words. This author is clearly a poet and paints a vivid picture with her words.
I would describe theme of this book as philosophical. The three main characters, Martin, Willis and Evelyn spend a great deal of time thinking about their past and what has led them to their current situation. Questions of life and love and the very reason for existence are raised as they each deliberate the meaning of life.
Of the three main characters, Evelyn, who runs away from an abusive home at the age of twelve, is the only one I could empathize with. Willis, a successful barrister, is a self centred man nursing grievances against his recently deceased father. Martin is a misfit who has difficulty relating to other people and never feels quite at home in the world.
The story also takes us into the minds of a number of supporting characters; Bonnie, a friend of Evelyn, Ellie, the mother of Willis, and Frieda, a cloakroom attendant from Germany who crosses paths with Martin. Each has an important part to play by giving the reader more of an understanding of the main character's motives and behaviour.
Evelyn, Martin and Willis all struggle to fit in with their everyday lives and are each searching for answers in the hope of achieving some sense of peace. All three are on a philosophical journey to come to terms with themselves.
The settings; London, Paris, Germany, Canada and the USA, are vividly described and add variety and colour to the story.
The novel ends on a positive note and gives the message that, although life may take a difficult and treacherous path, hope remains.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story begins in London, as a homeless man wakes up in a short tunnel under a busy street, with only his backpack and sleeping bag. He's hungry and is counting on a hot dog handout from a street vendor he has gotten to know. Martin, the homeless man, is isolated from the world, and he wants to keep it that way. But things suddenly change, by sheer chance, as his path intersects with Willis Hancocks, Jr., who is also isolated, even though he has vast fortune and status as a highly respected barrister.

I was drawn into the story from the start. The author guides the reader skillfully by placing a character's name at the beginning of each chapter. The story is then told from that character's viewpoint, and slowly the characters' lives become intertwined. From the destitute life of Martin, to the prostitute, Yvonne, we find a connection, because they feel, as many do, that they are outsiders. Only as we get to know them, their history, do we come to understand why their lives became so tragic. The sudden shifts in their lives' course were foisted upon them, causing them to make desperate choices, changing their paths forever. I felt great sympathy and understanding of the characters; we all face these moments but don't realize until later their significance, and how unexpected events shape our lives. As each chapter unfolds we are drawn further and further into the story, and I was caught totally by surprise, as the author deftly unveils the final "reveal."

TURNSTILES is intriguing, beautifully written and finely crafted by this talented writer.
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