Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Hand that First Held Mine

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Hand that First Held Mine

A Novel

by Maggie O'Farrell

The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell X
The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2010, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2011, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

According to BookBrowse reviewer Marnie Colton, Maggie O'Farrell's dry wit and keen observations owe a debt to these predecessors:

Nina Bawden (b. 1925)
Nina Bawden, CBE, is one of Britain's most distinguished and best-loved novelists for adults and children. She has published over forty novels and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Circles of Deceit. In 2004 she received the PEN Award for a Lifetime's Service to Literature. A number of her works have been dramatized by BBC Children's television, and many have been translated into various languages. In March 2010, Bawden was shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, to be awarded by public vote in reparation for the prize's missing year owing to a change in rules. Nicola Beauman, publisher of Persephone Books and a specialist in 20th-century women's fiction, says Bawden's novels "represent the best of women's writing, profound about relationships and particularly sensitive about the highs and lows of the relationship between adult and child" (The Guardian).

Molly Keane (1905-1996)
Molly Keane was an Irish novelist and playwright, who also wrote under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell. She published her first novel, The Knight of the Cheerful Countenance, when she was only 17. "Beneath the sparkling façade of Thirties Anglo-Irish life that she portrayed in so many of her novels, lay the dark, bitter truths which have induced critics to liken her to Noel Coward and Jane Austen (The Independent).

Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989)
Best known for her novel Rebecca and her short story "The Birds," both of which were famously adapted for screen by Alfred Hitchcock, Du Maurier wrote numerous bestselling novels, short stories, plays, biographies and memoirs. "While contemporary writers were dealing critically with such subjects as the war, alienation, religion, poverty, Marxism, psychology and art, and experimenting with new techniques such as the stream of consciousness, du Maurier produced 'old-fashioned' novels with straightforward narratives that appealed to a popular audience's love or fantasy, adventure, sexuality and mystery." (The Independent).

This article was originally published in May 2010, and has been updated for the January 2011 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Last Ballad
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    Ella May WigginsA hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket: Future Home of the Living God
    Future Home of the Living God
    by Louise Erdrich
    Louise Erdrich began Future Home of the Living God in 2002, set it aside, and picked it up again in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Mrs. Parrish
    The Last Mrs. Parrish
    by Liv Constantine
    Amber has lived in poverty all her life, and she has had enough. Of course, wishing to have money ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Wonder Valley
    by Ivy Pochoda

    A visionary and masterful portrait of contemporary L.A. from the author of Visitation Street.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Poetry is like fish...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.