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Keeping the World Away

By Margaret Forster

(1)

| Hardcover | 9780701179823

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Book Description

A classic Margaret Forster novel with the same satisfying appeal as her bestselling Diary of an Ordinary Woman — the story of an actual early 20th century painting and its fictional adventures through the century and of the women whose l Continue

A classic Margaret Forster novel with the same satisfying appeal as her bestselling Diary of an Ordinary Woman — the story of an actual early 20th century painting and its fictional adventures through the century and of the women whose lives it touches.

1 Reviews

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  • 1 person finds this helpful

    'Keeping The World Away' is a novel about a painting and the women whose lives it touches, original and a fabulous read, a perfect example of why I have been enjoying the novels of Margaret Forster since the late nineteen sixties. This is not an exa ...(continue)

    'Keeping The World Away' is a novel about a painting and the women whose lives it touches, original and a fabulous read, a perfect example of why I have been enjoying the novels of Margaret Forster since the late nineteen sixties. This is not an exaggeration, I find her work just as appealing now as I did all those years ago. What makes 'Keeping The World Away' so fascinating is the fact that it has taken the painting of a real life artist Gwen John(1876-1939) as its subject with the novels title coming from the artist's own notebooks. She was a known recluse and to quote from those notebooks "Rules to Keep the World Away: Do not listen to people more than is necessary; do not look at peoplemore than is necessary ; have as little intercourse with people as possible".
    I like stories where the author has used characters from real life inspiration as although it is fiction I still feel I am learning something from reality at the same time. For example reading this novel has led me to research about the artist.

    The story is divided into six sections to track the paintings journey and Forster manages to link each one by an almost imperceptible link known only to the reader. The journey starts with the paintings artist Gwen John herself before she has produced this small and intimate painting of the attic room, where she spends so much time waiting for her lover Rodin. A complex and determined young woman from an artistic background, Gwen had persuaded her father to let her study at the Slade, which led her to later live in Paris and become a model for the great master Rodin.

    Gwen gifts the painting to a close friend and hence we move on to the next woman in the story, although not the one you might expect. Owned by five women, Gwen, Charlotte, Stella, Lucasta, Ailsa and Gillian whose lives the painting touches as it is lost, found, sold, bought, inherited, given away and stolen. You learn how this painting affects their respective lives as each woman has an interesting connection to the previous one. I felt the story flowed across the time period exceptionally well, leaving me with the feeling that the painting had done the job the artist originally intended. Which was of course to keep the world away, even if only for those few cherished moments when one was gazing at it.

    As I said at the start of my review an original read that I think will appeal to anyone that enjoys art and creative women. Margaret Forster draws you into the lives of these women, especially as the source of the story is all based on a wonderful little painting.

    More interesting details here:http://lindyloumacbookreviews.blogspot.it/2012/07/keeping-world-away-by-margaret-forster.html

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    Lindyloumac said on Jul 19, 2012 | Add your feedback

Book Details

  • Rating:
    (1)
    • 5 stars
  • English Books
  • Hardcover 352 Pages
  • ISBN-10: 0701179821
  • ISBN-13: 9780701179823
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus
  • Publish date: 2006-04-25
  • Dimensions: 258 mm x 1,031 mm x 1,483 mm
  • Also available as: Paperback , eBook
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