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Unsettled Ground (2021)

av Claire Fuller

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4723152,181 (3.92)126
"At fifty-one years old, twins Jeanie and Julius still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation in the English countryside. The cottage they have shared their entire lives is their only protection against the modernizing world around them. Inside its walls, they make music, and in its garden, they grow everything they need to survive. To an outsider, it looks like poverty; to them, it is home. But when Dot dies unexpectedly, the world they've so carefully created begins to fall apart. The cottage they love, and the security it offered, is taken back by their landlord, exposing the twins to harsh truths and even harsher realities. Seeing a new future, Julius becomes torn between the loyalty he feels towards his sister and his desire for independence, while Jeanie struggles to find work and a home for them both. And just when it seems there might be a way forward, a series of startling secrets from their mother's past come to the surface, forcing the twins to question who they are, and everything they know of their family's history. In this stunning novel, award-winning author Claire Fuller masterfully builds a tale of sacrifice and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalized and remarkable people uncover long-held family secrets and, in their own way, repair, recover, and begin again"--… (mer)
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» Se även 126 omnämnanden

engelska (30)  spanska (1)  Alla språk (31)
Visa 1-5 av 31 (nästa | visa alla)
Almost completely unremittingly depressing, yet I couldn’t put it down. ( )
  Dabble58 | Nov 11, 2023 |
Los mellizos Jeanie y Julius tienen 51 años y viven con su madre, Dot, en una casa antigua en mitad de la campiña inglesa. Julius sobrevive gracias a empleos ocasionales; Jeanie apenas sabe leer ni escribir. No tienen internet, televisión ni cuentas bancarias. Ninguno de los dos tiene pareja. Tampoco tienen padre: murió cuando eran niños. Cultivan verduras en su huerto y, cuando cae la noche, tocan sus instrumentos y cantan juntos. Sobreviven con poco y no necesitan más: su casa es a la vez su armadura contra el mundo y su santuario. Pero cuando Dot muere de forma repentina, todas las cosas de las que siempre han prescindido pasan a ser indispensables. Jeanie y Julius se enfrentan a un mundo desconocido e inabarcable y, cuando los secretos de Dot comienzan a salir a la luz, todo lo que creían saber sobre sus vidas se desmorona.

Con sensibilidad e inteligencia, Claire Fuller compone un relato desgarrador sobre la pobreza rural en el siglo XXI. Sus personajes luchan por salir adelante en una sociedad que no es del todo consciente de haberlos dejado atrás.
  bibliotecayamaguchi | May 10, 2023 |
This story oozes with Poverty with a capital “P.” After their mother dies unexpectedly, 51-year-old twins are left to pick up the pieces of their lives. Little by little they discover that their mother owed money all over town. They owed money on the cottage they thought they lived in rent free, due to “an arrangement” their mum had with the owner. Money was owed to friends. Money was owed to the shops. Jeanie has had a heart condition since she was 13, missed months of schooling, and eventually dropped out. Julius, her brother, was tasked with the job of looking after his sister, and not doing well in school, also dropped out. Now, she can do little except gardening with her mum, while Julius picks up odd jobs around town. This lack of an education just adds to their poverty. After their mother dies, things get much worse. Eventually, secrets their mum had been keeping are exposed, but it is too little too late. This book should have been better than it was. It does have some very good ratings and reviews, but I don’t agree with them. It goes on much too long in the same vein. We get the idea - they are poor and much of it can be attributed to a lack of education. The twins do what they can to survive, which isn’t much. They don’t want to ask for help, either of their friends or government problems, but why they don’t is unclear. Even worse things happen to them. The whole outlook is bleak and depressing, rather than the uplifting and hopeful tone I think the author was going for. If she was trying to portray the struggle poverty brings, she succeeded. But the solution still eludes this family, and all I got from this tale is a feeling of utmost unhappiness at three wasted lives. ( )
  Maydacat | Apr 22, 2023 |
4.5* This is quite a sad story of 51 year old twins. They have lived a sheltered existence with their mother and when she dies suddenly they have to adjust to life on their own and they are very ill equipped.

When I started reading the book I thought it would be a 3 - 3.5* read for me, however, when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it and it is a book I would like to re read in the future. ( )
  LisaBergin | Apr 12, 2023 |
For a minute I thought I was in 1920s Ireland
A disappointing novel. The descriptions of poverty and homelessness was full of pathos, primroses and pity. A misunderstanding, folk-singer siblings, a kindly gossip, a nasty lad, a woke young single-mother, subsistence farming, a mean-spirited wealthy landowner, a freckled and feckless lass …

Yet we have smart-phones and an up-market deli in a tiny village, and references to the effects of Brexit on the cost of organic milk. Plus an apparently generous welfare system idealized and exaggerated, appearing suddenly story-years after the damage is done.

Verging at times on Mills and Boon albeit a well-written one, I was uncertain what century or country I was in. In the cottage gardens reminiscent of those of Agnes in Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet, 51 year old Jeannie tends her vegetables with love when she is not cooking, cleaning, worrying about overdue bills, or playing folk music about lovelorn villagers. Meanwhile twin brother Julius spends time doing odd-jobs and having a pint, or suffering PTS by throwing up if he has to sit in a car.

The narration is maudlin middle-class English which does not sit well with the underlying Irish vibe. Chapters are announced with the emotion of the previously read chapter, which is disconcerting. As is the nasal accent of the upper-class landowner, contrasting jarring with the dulcet tones that fit perfectly with the well-written descriptions of poverty. If only that there weren’t so many of them.

I can’t write any more or I’d spoil-pun-intended the story, and I would never do that. Or would I? ( )
2 rösta kjuliff | Feb 21, 2023 |
Visa 1-5 av 31 (nästa | visa alla)
Every small town (and every neighborhood in every city) has its oddballs, the people who live on the fringes, a little out of step with everyone else. Fairy tales sometimes cast them as witches, or as beautiful young royals cursed to live as beasts. Children's books often redeem them with some lesson about how outsiders are just like everyone else, despite their strange appearances or ramshackle houses or mysterious actions.

But how often, in our stories, are oddballs allowed to remain exactly who they are? How often do they take center stage as main characters and reorient our view of what is "normal"? How often are such characters given rich, complex, and interior lives, complete with sorrows, talents, opinions, and flaws? Claire Fuller's new novel, Unsettled Ground, does just that.,,,Dot, a 70-year-old woman, dies in the first chapter, and the rest of the novel is concerned with her twin children who are 51...Unsettled Ground is a terribly beautiful book, and although its premise may seem quiet, it is full of dramatic twists and turns right up until its moving, beautiful end.
 
Claire Fuller’s impressive new novel opens by documenting, in fine and gravely moving detail, the last moments of an elderly woman, Dot, early one snowy morning in the isolated, run-down cottage she has shared with her children, the middle-aged twins Jeanie and Julius, since the violent death of their father in an accident almost 40 years earlier..... Within days, Jeanie and Julius find themselves facing eviction and a fabric of secrets constructed over a lifetime begins to unravel....But it is exactly this note of astringency, combined with Fuller’s skill at evoking both the ineradicable animal pleasures – from sex to the smell of a garden after rain – and the squalid misery of sleeping rough, that gives the narrative its fierce, angry energy.
 

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Fuller, Claireprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bavidge, RachelBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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O, will you find me an acre of land,
Savoury sage, rosemary and thyme,
Between the sea foam, and the sea sand,
Or never be a true love of mine.

"Scarborough Fair," traditional English ballad
Dedikation
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For my parents
Ursula Pitcher
and Stephen Fuller
Inledande ord
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The morning sky lightens, and snow falls on the cottage.
Citat
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It is hard to rewrite your own history.
Sometimes, I reckon, we need something to come along and trip us up when we 're not expecting it. Otherwise, one day we're kids playing with the hose pipe, and the next we're laid out on an old door in the parlor. (44%)
She is the pot of water on the stove, bubbles forming on the bottom, coming to a boil. (72%)
She likes Saffron but she is from a different world where lost things are found and ill people survive. (89%)
But at some low point she told Jeanie she had something wrong with her heart in order to keep her home. The lie grew and could not be undone, Jeanie -- and Julian too -- would remain the the cottage with her. (98%)
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"At fifty-one years old, twins Jeanie and Julius still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation in the English countryside. The cottage they have shared their entire lives is their only protection against the modernizing world around them. Inside its walls, they make music, and in its garden, they grow everything they need to survive. To an outsider, it looks like poverty; to them, it is home. But when Dot dies unexpectedly, the world they've so carefully created begins to fall apart. The cottage they love, and the security it offered, is taken back by their landlord, exposing the twins to harsh truths and even harsher realities. Seeing a new future, Julius becomes torn between the loyalty he feels towards his sister and his desire for independence, while Jeanie struggles to find work and a home for them both. And just when it seems there might be a way forward, a series of startling secrets from their mother's past come to the surface, forcing the twins to question who they are, and everything they know of their family's history. In this stunning novel, award-winning author Claire Fuller masterfully builds a tale of sacrifice and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalized and remarkable people uncover long-held family secrets and, in their own way, repair, recover, and begin again"--

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