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The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce (2003)

  1. 00
    Shadow of Ashland by Terence M. Green (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Shares elements of family, history, and touches of fantasy.
  2. 00
    The Limits of Enchantment by Graham Joyce (Booksloth)

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Showing 5 of 5
This excellent book follows a family in Coventry, England, both during and immediately after WWII. It especially tells the story of the little boy born to Cassie, the youngest and most flighty member of the family. The book contains elements of fantasy and history. ( )
  mhanderson | Sep 27, 2012 |
one of the most beutiful books ( )
  andja | Feb 18, 2009 |
This eccentric cast of characters is about the Vine family, a large, close knit English family which mainly focuses on young Cassie, her mother, sisters, brothers-in-law, and their mysterious fantasies in England at the close of WWII. Cassie has a son, Frank, out-of-wedlock, that her family believes she cannot mentally care for as she wanders the streets looking for adventure. This strange read is long and dense that covers too much detail and the various character's sexual escapades. This is definitely not YA appropriate for middle school-could possibly be suitable YA for high school seniors. ( )
  d_jones | Mar 26, 2008 |
Not as good as The Limits Of Enchantment, although my wife will tell you different.

Three stars is probably being harsh to tell the truth, but i don't want to look as if I hand out superlatives all willy-nilly. I expected to like it more than i did, and am probably reviewing it harshly. It is extremely well written, and there are things that are so very recognisable and moving to me... and yet, it didn't hit me like i wanted it to. Perhaps the many siblings meant it felt a little bit diffuse. I didn't get enough of any of them. That said, it'd make an interesting movie. The central, blitzing of Coventry scene would be amazing. The kind of thing that Peter Jackson in Heavenly Creatures mode might do extremely well... ( )
  milomidnight | Mar 24, 2008 |
Family dramas don't usually appeal to me, but this one is an exception. Takes place in Coventry, England, during WWII. The storytelling is superb. Joyce manages to make all the members in this odd family quite believable, but never quite endearing. Sort of like my own family. ( )
  Zmrzlina | Nov 11, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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To my Mother and Father, who endured the Coventry blitz, and to all people who look at the rubble and start again
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"If she's not here, thinks Cassie, if she's not coming."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743463439, Paperback)

Winner of the 2003 World Fantasy Award Graham Joyce chronicles a haunting, war-torn terrain in this heartrending novel of one family's quest to begin again -- without forgetting the lives they left behind.

The Facts of Life

Set in Coventry, England, during and immediately after World War II, The Facts of Life revolves around the early years of Frank Arthur Vine, the illegitimate son of young, free-spirited Cassie and an American GI. Because Cassie is too unreliable and unstable to act as his proper guardian -- and is prone to "blue" periods in which she wanders off without warning or recollection -- Frank is brought up in the care of his strong-willed, stout-drinking grandmother, Martha Vine, who has, among other homemaking talents, the untoward ability to communicate with the dead.

So begins the first decade of Frank's life, one in which ghosts have a place at the table and divine order dictates the outcome of his days. Along the way there are brief stays with each of his six eccentric aunts, visits to the local mortuary, and voices inside of his own head that suggest that he, too, has the gift of supernatural intuition. An affecting tale of family and history, war and peace, love and madness, The Facts of Life will leave readers spellbound with its resounding expression of magic realism.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:06 -0400)

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"The Facts of Life tells the story of the Vines, an extraordinary family of seven sisters living in Coventry during, and after, the second world war." "Presided over by an indomitable matriarch the sisters live out tangled and fraught lives built on loyalty and betrayal, love and frustration, fear and hope. Lives informed by family wisdom and sometimes harsh tradition." "From the hallucinatory horror of the night the Luftwaffe levelled Coventry, via the everyday tensions of a family just scraping through in wartime, to a bizarre interlude in a post-war communist collective, this is an evocative and affecting story of lives lived to the full." "And through it all wanders the young son of the youngest daughter. Never knowing his father he is passed from sister to sister. Frank is the innocent witness to a life that edges over from war into peace and from the mundane into the magical and the fey."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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