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You: A Novel Paperback – August 2, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Briscoe depicts this world of few rules and many consequences with honesty and with compassion. In lucid, observant prose, she captures the messiness of family and, crushingly, the consequences of desire.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Absorbing... You is deliciously reminiscent of the haunting tales of the Brontes, Blackmoore and Hardy.” ―Baltimore Sun

“Briscoe... summons the romance of the moors and offers a devastating depiction of the 'carefree' '70s.” ―Booklist

About the Author

Joanna Briscoe is the author of Mothers and Other Lovers, winner of the Betty Trask Award; Skin; and Sleep with Me, her widely praised US debut. Sleep with Me was published in eleven countries and adapted for British television by screenwriter Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones's Diary, BBC's Pride and Prejudice). Briscoe lives with her family in London, where she has written for all the major newspapers and magazines, and has been a columnist for the Guardian and the Independent. She is currently a literary critic for the Guardian.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608194833
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608194834
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,540,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rarely do I read a novel that I get so emotionally pent up in that it affects my mood for days. I received, You: A Novel by Joanna Briscoe, a Good Reads First Reads giveaway in August of 2011. The week that it took me to read, contemplate, and review it was not very pleasant at my house. This novel is exquisitely written and I do not want to take anything away from that fact. I will definitely strive to read more of Mrs. Briscoe's work as I believe she has a wonderful way with words. I dearly loved the settings and scenes in this book. I felt I was there on the English Mooreland, her ability to give every detail and leave room for imagination is admirable. I expect that this is the very reason I had such intense feelings about the cast of characters. I truly did not like many of the cast and I admit I think I hate the main character with an intenseness that I rarely feel for actual human beings. In general all of the adults in this book are so selfish I am surprised they see past their own noses. The children are all very likeable and have the typical self centeredness you would expect of a child. I realize that without the people there would not be a story, but I really just wanted to read the parts when she set the scene for the actions that would so enflame me. I truly love the way she handled Dora, the mother's, story line. I believe with fleshing out that would have been a very original and lovely novel on its own. Cecelia, the daughter's, story is OK, it's not super original but I don't find it overdone. I do despise Cecelia and her machinations once she becomes a seventeen year old. Her actions while not uncommon to a young woman cause a terrible chain of events that effect other lives but all she does is lay blame, whine, and obsess.Read more ›
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By Katherine on September 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A bad decision has many consequences and ramifications. Joanna Briscoe explores the guilt and despair of a mother who had been forced to give up the baby born after a teenage affair many years ago. Back at the home where she grew up, the issue becomes front and center in Cecilia's life, even though she now has three daughters and a loving partner. The story line in this book is strong and the characters are well drawn with many faults as well as virtues. However, the story jumps back and forth from past to present and, sometimes, back to the past in the chapters on the present, occasionally needing a reread to make sure of chronology. I kept reading for the story and found that, even after 368 pages, the ending begs for a sequesl, which I hope Ms. Briscoe will porvide.
Katherine McCaughan
Author of 'Natasha Lands Down Under'
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought all of her books and this latest outcome because I'm a fan of the of Briscoe since her first novel Sleep With Me (which I have in swedish) it compelled me to by all of her other books but couldn't find them in stores yet at the time let alone in my native language. Its a 10/10 I love it almost as much as the first.
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By A Customer on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I stumbled upon this book, I thought it would just be another cliche story about teenage romance and family. However, the story actually seemed to make perfect sense and was thoroughly engaging. It was the first book I read in years that I could actually finish in one setting.

This book is unique in that it blends both mother and daughter into one. You usually only hear from one side of the story. A mother expressing her views on the daughter's mistakes, usually of regret or at least dismay or anger. Or vice versa, a daughter reflecting that she was too young to have known better but knew well enough she disappointed her parents. This book seems to set a nice balance in blending both of them together.

Some parts were missing, though. It seemed like Cecilia just began an affair with her elderly teacher for the Hell of it, then had to give their daughter up for adoption. When she becomes a parent of three daughters herself and her mother Dorothy is older, this haunts her.

I was a little disappointed towards the end of the book. I had hoped she and her daughter would reunite or the kids would at least get to meet Cecilia's long-lost child. Sadly, it seems like all we learn is that she moved on and that she simply bears lingering regrets over the affair, despite it taking place years ago.

I've read better books, but for the prose and setting alone, I've become a huge fan of this author.
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Format: Paperback
Briscoe's gift is language, yes the plot is engaging but the real shining quality of this work is the exact, intricate description throughout. This disjunctive vocabulary carries the reader's attention through passages that might sag slightly in comparison to the sections of visceral action. On the back of this book, I've ordered all of this author's other novels and highly recommend that you do the same.
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