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Carol Birch

Forfatter af Dragetid

18 Værker 1,477 Medlemmer 100 Anmeldelser 2 Favorited

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Includes the name: Carol Birch

Image credit: Martin Butler

Værker af Carol Birch

Dragetid (2011) 1,028 eksemplarer, 77 anmeldelser
Orphans of the Carnival (2016) 167 eksemplarer, 10 anmeldelser
Scapegallows (2007) 92 eksemplarer, 5 anmeldelser
The Naming of Eliza Quinn (2005) 47 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
Turn Again Home (2003) 33 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Come Back, Paddy Riley (1999) 19 eksemplarer
Little Sister (1998) 14 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Life in the Palace (1989) 11 eksemplarer
Shadow Girls (2022) 10 eksemplarer, 3 anmeldelser
Cold Boy's Wood (2021) 7 eksemplarer
The Fog Line (1989) 6 eksemplarer
Songs of the West (1994) 6 eksemplarer
The Unmaking (1992) 5 eksemplarer

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Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch i Booker Prize (september 2011)

Anmeldelser

Entertaining take on the sinking of the Essex. Recommended by A2J.
 
Markeret
markm2315 | 76 andre anmeldelser | Jul 1, 2023 |
Shadow Girls, the latest novel by Carol Birch, is divided into three sections which, in a play on the title, are named after the three parts of a shadow: penumbra, umbra and antumbra. The first two segments of the novel are set in a girls’ secondary school in mid-1960s Manchester. The narrator, Sally, is a fifteen-year-old student preparing for her O-Levels. Like her schoolmates, she is also navigating the challenges of growing up, including recurring doubts about her first serious relationship (with the dependable, level-headed Rob). Sally’s best friend is Pamela, a troubled troublemaker whom no one really seems to like. Under her influence, Sally indulges in rebellious acts. They play truant and venture into areas of the school which are out-of-bounds for students, such as the basement and the greenhouse on the school roof. Their nemesis and long-suffering “victim” is Sylvia Rose, an only child hailing from a posh background, who is also a promising classical singer. In the second part of the book, several uncanny – possibly supernatural – incidents herald a horrific, although not entirely unexpected, tragedy that leaves a mark on the school and on Sally in particular. The final segment in the book is set around twelve years later. After having worked and lived in different parts of England, Sally returns to the area where she grew up and reconnects with several of her old schoolmates. Her past starts to haunt her, leading to a terrifying conclusion. A brief afterword – aptly titled “After” – clears up some of the ambiguity of the final pages.

I was drawn to this novel because of the blurb that describes it as having “elements of the ghost story”. However, Shadow Girls is rather atypical of the genre. Its first part is closer to the “girls school” story. Birch does an exceptional job at recreating the 1960s atmosphere, the (authentically “dated”) expressions used by the students, and the rivalries, friendships and bullying typical of the school environment. However, possibly because that particular world seems alien to this middle-aged male reader, I found this initial segment, well-written as it is, very slow and occasionally downright boring. Indeed, I was sorely tempted to abandon the book. I’m glad I didn’t. The pace picks up steadily in the second segment and, in the final part, we’re more decidedly in “ghost story” territory with Birch pulling out the stops and relying more heavily (and effectively) on the tropes of supernatural fiction. In particular, she makes good use of that ambiguity typical of some of the best ghostly tales. Is there a prosaic explanation for the supernatural events portrayed? Should they be taken literally, or are they the product of mental health issues affecting an unreliable narrator?

Shadow Girls is a book I would recommend, albeit with a warning that whoever reads it for the thrills and chills should be patient and perseverant.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2022/01/shadow-girls-by-carol-birch.html
… (mere)
 
Markeret
JosephCamilleri | 2 andre anmeldelser | Feb 21, 2023 |
Shadow Girls, the latest novel by Carol Birch, is divided into three sections which, in a play on the title, are named after the three parts of a shadow: penumbra, umbra and antumbra. The first two segments of the novel are set in a girls’ secondary school in mid-1960s Manchester. The narrator, Sally, is a fifteen-year-old student preparing for her O-Levels. Like her schoolmates, she is also navigating the challenges of growing up, including recurring doubts about her first serious relationship (with the dependable, level-headed Rob). Sally’s best friend is Pamela, a troubled troublemaker whom no one really seems to like. Under her influence, Sally indulges in rebellious acts. They play truant and venture into areas of the school which are out-of-bounds for students, such as the basement and the greenhouse on the school roof. Their nemesis and long-suffering “victim” is Sylvia Rose, an only child hailing from a posh background, who is also a promising classical singer. In the second part of the book, several uncanny – possibly supernatural – incidents herald a horrific, although not entirely unexpected, tragedy that leaves a mark on the school and on Sally in particular. The final segment in the book is set around twelve years later. After having worked and lived in different parts of England, Sally returns to the area where she grew up and reconnects with several of her old schoolmates. Her past starts to haunt her, leading to a terrifying conclusion. A brief afterword – aptly titled “After” – clears up some of the ambiguity of the final pages.

I was drawn to this novel because of the blurb that describes it as having “elements of the ghost story”. However, Shadow Girls is rather atypical of the genre. Its first part is closer to the “girls school” story. Birch does an exceptional job at recreating the 1960s atmosphere, the (authentically “dated”) expressions used by the students, and the rivalries, friendships and bullying typical of the school environment. However, possibly because that particular world seems alien to this middle-aged male reader, I found this initial segment, well-written as it is, very slow and occasionally downright boring. Indeed, I was sorely tempted to abandon the book. I’m glad I didn’t. The pace picks up steadily in the second segment and, in the final part, we’re more decidedly in “ghost story” territory with Birch pulling out the stops and relying more heavily (and effectively) on the tropes of supernatural fiction. In particular, she makes good use of that ambiguity typical of some of the best ghostly tales. Is there a prosaic explanation for the supernatural events portrayed? Should they be taken literally, or are they the product of mental health issues affecting an unreliable narrator?

Shadow Girls is a book I would recommend, albeit with a warning that whoever reads it for the thrills and chills should be patient and perseverant.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2022/01/shadow-girls-by-carol-birch.html
… (mere)
 
Markeret
JosephCamilleri | 2 andre anmeldelser | Jun 19, 2022 |
Sally is a typical school girl of 1960s Manchester. The 15-year-old believes herself a lot cleverer than her class mates and also her family. With her new best friend Pamela, she tries to extent the rules, takes her freedoms and over and over again gets into trouble. Most fun both have tormenting Sylvia Rose, a shyish, old-fashioned girl of their class. Even though Sally and Sylvia do have some common interests, she follows Pamela’s example and makes fun of her, some of their tricks go quite far, humiliating their class mate in front of the whole school. Common among the girls of their school is the attraction by superstition and an ouija board they secretly use during their breaks. When it predicts some bad luck, they do not want to believe it even though they are clearly warned by one of their teachers. But then, the unthinkable happens and will haunt Sally for the rest of her life.

Carol Birch’s novel is an addictive combination of school girl, coming-of-age and ghost novel. She cleverly turns the carefree, boisterous girls into fearful and edgy young women. The story is told from Sally’s point of view so we often get to know her thoughts which are convincingly portrayed: it is not easy to be a teenager, conflicting feelings, knowing what is right but doing what is wrong, making the wrong decisions and regretting them later.

The novel is divided into three chapters named “penumbra”, “umbra” and “anteumbra”. I was trying to make sense of this, but I am not sure if I really got the meaning. Maybe it reflects Sally’s mental state which deteriorates throughout the plot. Maybe this is linked to the idea of the ghosts and seeing or not seeing things, being tricked by the eye.

There is an uneasy feeling looming over the story, you know it is not going to run out well, yet, you cannot be sure what is real and what is only imagined. Is there some supernatural power making sure that there is some kind of pay back for the evil done? Or is it just all the imagination of a young woman at the edge? Captivating once you have started with some unexpected twists.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
miss.mesmerized | 2 andre anmeldelser | Apr 10, 2022 |

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Statistikker

Værker
18
Medlemmer
1,477
Popularitet
#17,387
Vurdering
½ 3.6
Anmeldelser
100
ISBN
97
Sprog
7
Udvalgt
2

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