In the place of fallen leaves by Tim Pears

It is the summer of 1984, one of the longest and hottest of the 20th century. Unemployment reaches record levels, the nation’s teachers are on strike, police and miners fight running battles, and time in a Devon village is apparently slipping backwards.

Reviewed by Queen Mary’s College Library reading group

This review provoked a lively discussion but the group largely found the novel unsatisfactory. Set in 1984, but it felt as if it was set much longer ago, with a feeling of a pre-war novel. Some of us liked the lyrical quality of the language, and the dreamlike atmosphere against which events were played out, but mostly we were irritated with the magic realism which seemed to infuse everything. It felt as if there were four books competing for attention in the one volume.

Star rating: ****

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2 thoughts on “In the place of fallen leaves by Tim Pears”

  1. Review by Hayling Reading Group
    With soem wonderful, memorable characters this lyrical family story narrated by a young girl is a thought provoking read. Set in a small farming community in the later 20th century it interweaves the events of one very hot summer with past happenings. Highly recommended.

  2. Review by Selborne Book Circle
    After some hesitation over the opening pages, most of our group went on to enjoy this fascinating book. It was agreed to be strong on atmosphere and character, though one reader felt it lacked narrative drive. We had an animated discussion about it, which is always a good sign!
    Star rating: ***

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