Vivian Q. (Greer, SC)
The Hand That First Held Mine
Irish author Maggie O'Farrell writes stories about love in all its permutations, and I am a big fan.
As in her previous novels, this one takes a little time to get into the story and then, suddenly, it becomes a page turner. Told in alternating voices, decades apart, it is the story of two women and the men in their lives. Their stories are connected, but we don't immediately know how.
There is much to like and discuss in this wonderful exploration of love, motherhood and loss. Would recommend for book clubs.
Susan R. (Julian, NC)
The Hand that First Held Mine
I thought that the book started slowly and I had a hard time getting involved in the characters. After about 50 pages, I started to really enjoy it. Once I got to that point, the characters became very real to me and I enjoyed getting to know them. I laughed and I cried while reading this book. The part of the story when Lexie knows that she is leaving her son forever and how much she fights to stay brought tears to my eyes. Overall I would say that this is one my top five books read in 2010 and I will highly recommend it to others. I am going to go back and read other books by this author.
Karen L. (Troy, IL)
THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE
It was very hard for me to get into this book and it was difficult to stay focused on what I was reading. Some of the scenes were too descriptive for me. The characters were interesting and would bring lots of discussion for book clubs.
Deanna W. (Port Jefferson, NY)
What happens to us when we have children?
This story deals with two women,Lexie a writer and Elina a painter separated in time 50 years living in non-traditional families in London. I enjoyed the beautiful descriptive language, but could not connect to the characters. The story contains flashbacks and family secrets but just not compelling enough to hold my interest.
Rebecca C. (Opelika, AL)
Another incredible read!
I was very happy to receive an ARC of this book since I had just finished reading O’Farrell’s first book. The mood of this book starts out dreamy and slow and almost made me feel drugged and slow as I met the two couples, one in the past and one in the future. I knew that they are somehow connected but had no idea how. The book slowly drew me in and started moving faster until the action was at breakneck speed. And at the end, I immediately wanted to start again to find all the hints that I missed, all the connections that were so skillfully hidden. Maggie O’Farrell once again has merged past and present with her uncommon skills of pacing and movement.
Ann L. (Arnold, MD)
The Hand That First Held Nine
It took me about 90 pages of reading to get involved in this book, then I was very interested in the story line. However, I thought the writing was inconsistent. Sometimes it was too wordy and dragged on. The parts describing how hard it was for both main characters, Lexie and Elina,to care for their babies was way too lengthy. The manner in which the two separate stories in different time periods were finally connected created an intriguing ending.
Erica L. (Plaistow, New Hampshire)
Hooked From The Start
This book had me hooked right from the first page. The characters were well developed and I couldn't wait to find out what their stories were. Maggie O'Farrell is a great story writer that lulls the reader in and then gives them something totally unexpected. A book about two women whose stories unfold to a dramatic end. Book Clubs will enjoy delving into the different relationships and situations that occur in this book. A great read!