This Is Paradise by Will Eaves

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...it never quite lifts off. In the end, This Is Paradise was a book I admired rather than loved.
-Guardian

Synopsis

The Alldens live in a ramshackle house in suburban Bath. Don and Emily have four children: confident Liz, satirical Clive, shy Lotte, and Benjamin, the late arrival. Together they take the usual knocks, go to work, go abroad, go to university, go to pieces. Don and Emily stick it out, their strong marriage tested by experience and frustrated by love for Clive, the ardent boxing fan at odds with himself, their special child. But then ordinary is special, too, as the Alldens will discover thirty years later when Emily falls ill and her children come home to say goodbye. They meet on the poor outskirts of the city in which they grew up, a place where strangers gather and Emily lingers, present but missing, at the still centre of a changing world. This Is Paradise is an unflinching portrayal of the dynamics of family life. The Alldens are wholly recognizable and defiantly unique, close allies and closer adversaries who think they know each other. Their unforgettable story is an intimate record of survival that is tender, funny and ultimately heartbreaking.
 

About Will Eaves

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Will Eaves was born in Bath in 1967. He is the author of two other novels, The Oversight(2001) and Nothing To Be Afraid Of(2005), and a collection of poems, Sound Houses(2011). For many years he was the arts editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He now teaches at the University of Warwick.
 
Published February 1, 2012 by Picador USA. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for This Is Paradise
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Day on Feb 18 2012

...it never quite lifts off. In the end, This Is Paradise was a book I admired rather than loved.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Penelope Lively on Feb 10 2012

The family novel is a bit like the old-fashioned detective story: a finite group of characters and an enclosed venue that is fingered occasionally by the outside world...

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