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Surrender by Sonya Hartnett

Surrender (edition 2005)

by Sonya Hartnett

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4222525,093 (3.56)13
Authors:Sonya Hartnett
Info:Viking (2005), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, australian author, ya, family, death

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Surrender by Sonya Hartnett


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I looked at this while at the library, and changed my mind about wanting to read it. Too much 'yuck factor' -- at least, until I've (hypothetically) loved everything else by the author.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
*SPOILERS* Anwell, at age 20, lies dying and looks back on his boyhood, in particular, the events as related to a friend he made in Finnegan. Anwell (or Gabriel, as Finnegan calls him) grew up as a town outcast in a dysfunctional family. At age 7, he accidentally suffocates his disabled older brother in a refrigerator when trying to shush his tantrum while their mother is sick. He meets Finnegan, a rough-edged independent boy with apparently no home or family. They agree to become brother reflections of each other; Gabriel is the angel, the good boy, and Finnegan does all the bad things. A series of arsons plagues the small town where Gaariel lives, all caused by Finnegan, although he is never caught. As the stakes are upped, Gabriel wants out of their pact. To me, it was uncertain if Finnegan was a real person or, as a reviewer suggested, if Gabriel was schizophrenic.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
There are some books that you read that you don't necessarily like, but that you think really speaks volumes. This is one of those books. This book focuses on Anwell, also known as Gabriel throughout, and his childhood and then his adult life. The book journeys through the friendship he forms with another boy named Finnigan. Through twists and turns in this book you get to the startling revelation at the end of the book.

Sometimes a book tries to be more high-brow than it should have been. This is one of those books. It was a pleasant book to read, but it also left something to be desired because you are never fully aware of what is really going on within it. This starts to make sense as the mystery in it starts to finally unravel though. It doesn't make it a 5 star book though. There is a basic understanding of life that is missing from this book within the vast majority of its pages. It isn't until that ending that you finally see some humanity in the story, which would have greatly helped this book.

The biggest reason that this book speaks volumes is that it shows the power of life being the family that you are born into. People have some control over their lives, but a lot of it does come down to whomever your parents are and what their lives are like. While it never directly states this you get this feeling. The reader starts understanding if poor Anwell had just been born into any other family that his life may have been greatly different.

There are moments in this book that are interesting, which is why that it still gets 4 points. It isn't an easy to read book by any means, but it leaves a taste in your mouth that sometimes you need to have as a reader. This is an award winning book for a reason and everyone should read it at least once, but past that I am not sure it is one of those books you can go back and reread at a later date. The once that you got through it is more than enough. You will however understand the baseline of humanity after reading this book and I think that is something worthwhile here. ( )
  SoulFlower1981 | Jan 20, 2016 |
I picked up this book randomly and I was surprised at first to find out that it was classed as 'young adult' fiction. The story is rather bleak and has at least one very disturbing scene. The writing is inventive, compelling, and easy to read. The whole story pushes you towards the final surprising conclusion. It's hard to find a connection to the characters however, there isn't much good to be found in any of them. The main theme here is freedom, which is of course a central element of growing up, so I suppose that makes the 'young adult' label relevant. ( )
  Estramir | Aug 16, 2014 |
I thought I was in a Sonya Hartnett mood - I like her spare, elegant writing. But I hadn't realised how little I was in the mood for bleakness. The dynamic described between the two characters is poignant but also twisted and I wasn't quite in the right mood. Also should have known that there'd be emotional OUCH involved given that a dog plays a central role. ( )
  Kirstie_Innes-Will | Apr 18, 2014 |
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I'm dying. I am dying: it’s a beautiful word. Like the long slow sigh of a cello: dying. But the sound of it is the only beautiful thing about it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763634239, Paperback)

I am dying: it’s a beautiful word. Like the long slow sigh of a cello: dying. But the sound of it is the only beautiful thing about it.

As life slips away, Gabriel looks back over his brief twenty years, which have been clouded by frustration and humiliation. A small, unforgiving town and distant, punitive parents ensure that he is never allowed to forget the horrific mistake he made as a child. He has only two friends - his dog, Surrender, and the unruly wild boy, Finnigan, a shadowy doppelganger with whom the meek Gabriel once made a boyhood pact. But when a series of arson attacks grips the town, Gabriel realizes how unpredictable and dangerous Finnigan is. As events begin to spiral violently out of control, it becomes devastatingly clear that only the most extreme measures will rid Gabriel of Finnigan for good.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

As he is dying, a twenty-year-old man known as Gabriel recounts his troubled childhood and his strange relationship with a dangerous counterpart named Finnigan.

(summary from another edition)

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763627682, 0763634239

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143001582, 0143204726

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