You: Book summary and reviews of You by Joanna Briscoe

You

A Novel

by Joanna Briscoe

You by Joanna Briscoe X
You by Joanna Briscoe
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011
    368 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Dora Bannan hopes for a new life when she moves her husband and their three children to the wild moorland. She finds a job teaching music at a progressive school, where she also enrolls the children - their fellow students the progeny of back-to-the-land bohemians. But when the school's elegant art teacher, Elisabeth Dahl, offers Dora a seductive alternative to her domestic routine, Dora finds that real change is far from easy. Meanwhile, her precocious only daughter, Cecilia, longs for a more traditional life, especially the formal education her new school can't offer. Cecilia becomes obsessed with her English teacher, James Dahl - an errant representative of the establishment she craves, and husband of the dangerous Elisabeth.

Twenty years later, the adult Cecilia brings her partner and daughters back home to the moors and her aging mother. Moving between past and present, You slowly reveals how far Dora and Cecilia once let their private, impossible desires lead them - and how much further the consequences extend. Sensual, unnerving, and gripping, You is a novel about the lives we think we want, the choices we can't unmake, and the loves and losses we never forget.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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

"Briscoe... summons the romance of the moors and offers a devastating depiction of the 'carefree' 70s." - Booklist

"Although implausible and suffocating, this rapture of obsession and lyrical landscape is not unimpressive." - Kirkus Reviews

"Sometimes, it can feel as if the effort of description is weighing down the sentence... and the book as a whole feels slightly overlong. But at its best, Briscoe's prose is beguilingly good and, I'm sure, capable of being appreciated by both male and female readers." - The Guardian (UK)

"If one peered too beadily beyond the enticing surface, one might find the structure of her novel a little weak, the substance a trifle thin. But why anatomise what is essentially a lovely, and successful, entertainment." - The Telegraph (UK)

The information about You shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Joanna Briscoe

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. You can find her online at www.joannabriscoe.com.

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