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Sweet Caress
William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably...
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Have you read other 'whole life' stories. Are there characters in other novels whose whole life you'd like to read about?

Created: 05/30/16

Replies: 6

Posted May. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Have you read other 'whole life' stories. Are there characters in other novels whose whole life you'd like to read about?

William Boyd has described Sweet Caress as a 'whole life' novel. Have you read any other novels that could be called 'whole life' stories? Or are there characters in other novels whose whole life story you would like to read about?


Posted Jun. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

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RE: Have you read other 'whole life' stories. Are there characters in other novels whose whole life you'd like to read about?

I do not know if historical fiction is considered whole life stories but I do enjoy Melanie Benjamin's novels, The Aviator's Wife, and the novel about Alice. I also like Nancy Horan's Loving Frank, and Under the Wide and Starry Sky. I also just finished Georgia by Dawn Tripp. I must say that I have read many fiction books that I am sorry when I have finished the book as I would like to know more about the characters. I mainly read for character and as I am reading these characters become my best friends.


Posted Jun. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

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RE: Have you read other 'whole life' stories. Are there characters in other novels whose whole life you'd like to read about?

Many nonfiction biographies take a "whole Life" cradle-to-grave approach so I don't think it's that unusual. I just finished Kate Atkinson's "Life After LIfe," which takes "whole life " in an interesting direction, since the lead character begins by dying at birth, is reborn, and dies over and over again across the book. This approach is difficult, though, in a first-person memoir, given the general limits of human memory. I have few memories from my very early life, which would make telling a story like this problematic.


Posted Jun. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KateB

Join Date: 02/11/16

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RE: Have you read other 'whole life' stories. Are there characters in other novels whose whole life you'd like to read about?

I think the 'whole life' idea works well for Amory, particularly because she is looking back on her life at a point where she is thinking of killing herself. I feel for her in her story I wanted to see her through the changing decades of the 20th century, rather than reading a novel about her at a particular point.

But I wouldn't want all novels to be like that. I often like to be left with a character having resolved their challenges and feeling that they probably 'lived happily ever after.' I also think that the 'whole life' approach can make for a less dramatic story - If I look at a book like The Nightingale, for example, I loved the end of that book but I didn't want to go all the way to that character's death.


Posted Jun. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

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RE: Have you read other 'whole life' stories. Are there characters in other novels whose whole life you'd like to read about?

Whole Life fictional novels are not always my favorite - I find that in most cases it is hard to find a character or real person, whose entire life is interesting. Usually a certain point in time is what makes for a good story.
My favorite "Whole Life" recents include Life after Life and Henna House - Nomi Eve, but they are hard to do well!
The recently read novels with characters I would have liked to read "whole life" accounts of include:
Sweetgirl - Travis Mulhauser
The Well and the Mine- Gin Phillips
Fallen Land -Taylor Brown
When the Saints - Sarah Mian
Medicine Walk - Richard Wagamese


Posted Jun. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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kellilee

Join Date: 11/18/14

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RE: Have you read other 'whole life' stories. Are there characters in other novels whose whole life you'd like to read about?

I just finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and would love to have followed Francie Nolan through her whole life. This incredible coming of age novel ends with Francie heading to college. I suspect there are many other coming of age novels that introduce us to memorable young characters and then leave us wondering about what those characters would be like as adults. Then again, maybe it is best if we don't know (i.e., Go Set a Watchman).


Posted Jun. 18, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Have you read other 'whole life' stories. Are there characters in other novels whose whole life you'd like to read about?

I think the "whole Life" story worked very well for this story especially since at significant points she went back to more or less review her life by writing in the journal. It was also a good way to move the character through some high points of the 20th century.


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