Ralph and Anna Eldred live in the big Red House in Norfolk, raising their four children and devoting their lives to charity. But the constant flood of 'good souls and sad cases' welcomed into their home hides the growing crises in their own family. From the violent townships of South Africa to the windswept countryside of Norfolk, this is an epic yet subtle family saga about what happens when trust is broken...
©1994 Hilary Mantel (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
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"A haunting tale acutely observed"
After thoroughly enjoying both "Wolf Hall" and "Bring up the Bodies" I was impatient for the publication of the promised sequel. In the meantime, I thought I would try Hilary Mantel's other works and started with "A Change in Climate".
I was not disappointed at all. This novel is as acutely observed as both of her prize winners. Mantel has captured an era and locations exquisitely. This haunting tale unfolds slowly and perfectly as does her insight into her characters and their development. They live on with me and I find myself wondering how they are getting on (daft I know, but this phenomenon often marks the quality of fictional characters who have really lived for me whilst I was reading or, in this case, listening).
I'm looking forward to meeting and gradually getting to know more people in other Hilary Mantel novels.
"A change of climate"
When you read the synopsis of this book, you think "Oh we'll, i'll give it a try!
It turns out as a stunning read so well written by Hilary Mantel and you find that although the synopsis is accurate, it is also simplified. The story comes to a very unexpected end. Read it, it is so good!
Talking books on my iPhone has add a whole new dimension to my life and really improved my sleep pattern. Thank you.
"Powerful tragedy by a world class author."
Hilary Mantel's ability to bring characters to life is supreme. Unfolding the tragedies of human existence in a powerful way, this novel spans the awfulness of the years of early apartheid in South Africa, and returns from the vastness of the veld to parochial Norfolk. The people, the countryside, the tussle between love, betrayal, hope and loss are brilliantly explored in a novel I found hard to put down. An unforgettable tale, beautifully narrated and a fitting reading of the work of such a talented author.
"Takes a While"
It was OK.
The African parts when the book finally got to it.
Less mouth noises in the recording.
I found it difficult to get into this book for most of the first part. Every time I thought I had the characters worked out I would come back to it after a break and then wonder again what or who it was talking about! I really had to concentrate on every detail!
However, I am glad I stayed with it because when I got the hang of the flash-backs to Africa from Norfolk and the various family characters of two generations fell into place it was an extremely good story of family secrets and the change these made on the characters as they develop their lives and get older.
No happy endings and conclusion a little open-ended but personally I would rather have that kind of reality!
"Not Mantel's best!"
'A Change Of Climate' is a family saga that challenges the reader to think about faith or a lack of it without prejudice. Mantel encourages questions about God and human relationships, about faith, fear of rejection, being 'good', suffering and guilt. She especially prompts us to think about how our actions have consequences. I didn't like the parts where Mantel becomes overly descriptive and slows the story to a point where I would find my mind wandering!
I would have explored more fully the reasons and consequences of Ralph's affair.
Some of the accents were a little weak.
"A change of climate"
A wonderful book, not comfortable listening but utterly gripping. The narration was perfect, every character vivid.
"Wide ranging and engrossing"
Well plotted, the South African parts were the most vivid. Credible characters and structure.
The pace of the first half of the book was so slow that I got bored and broke off listening to it but kept returning as I felt the story could eventually start and be a good book. It could be condensed into half to make it more gripping.
No idea on this
None, they all seemed rather lifeless
I tried several times to listen to this book but it was so slow and the characters had no real appeal that 3/4 of the way through the first half of the book I gave up completely.
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