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A Long Way from Verona by Jane Gardam
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A Long Way from Verona (1971)

by Jane Gardam

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272762,921 (3.94)29

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» See also 29 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This was a pick of the Vintage Book Circle and sparked a wonderful discussion at our meeting. I really appreciated the beginning of this book and read parts aloud to my husband. It was delightful and funny and I really related to Jessica. The later half of the book was more complicated, troubling and kind of confusing. It was interesting that the person who suggested the title only remembered the first half. We were surprised that it was considered a children's book. It tackles some difficult topics. We wondered if it was at all autobiographical. It won the Phoenix Award in 1991, an award given to a twenty year old children's book that had not received an award earlier. We found it to be deserving, but maybe more appropriate for an older crowd. ( )
  njcur | Apr 7, 2017 |
Oh my goodness. I’ve just finished a book that has rocketed to the top of my list, and toppled all the other books nearby. It’s my new Favorite Book of All. And you simply must read it, too. It’s an amazing read, with amazing characters and an amazing little story. It’s very odd, but you’ve probably never heard of it and---even odder---you’ve probably even heard of the author. I just came across it by the unlikeliest of chances. It’s on the 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read list, so somebody else must love it, too. Don’t worry about that; it’s not really a just-for-children book. It’s a great book, about families, and friendships, and growing up, and religion (just a bit) and happiness, and finding your calling. Oh, you really must read it. Now. Hope you can find a copy. And remember to thank me when you finally give it a read.

And I’ll be off now to find some more Jane Gardam. I’m afraid nothing can be as good as this delicious novel, but I must try to find a little more and see for myself. ( )
1 vote debnance | Jul 27, 2014 |
My favorite author and my favorite genre - coming of age - perfection! Set during WWII, Jessica Vye refuses to conform or fit into her middle class Brit family or her school. The book is divided into three chapters "The Maniac" focuses on Jessica's decision to become a writer after meeting a famous author during a school talk. He encourages her, with monumental consequences. "The Boy" is Christian, whom Jess meets at a house party. He's a quasi-communist and takes Jess into a slum, where they are the victims of a German bombing. "The Poem" is her first publication, in the Times of London. And then there's everything in between. Should not be missed. ( )
  froxgirl | Mar 9, 2014 |
When she was nine, Jessica Vye was told by an author visiting her school that she WAS AN AUTHOR INDEED." This was after she had run home, gotten everything she had written and caught up with the author before he boarded her train. He sent her back that message in the mail, several months later. She of course never forgot it and it shaped her life.

World War ll and the world of ration cards, air raid shelters and gas masks had become part of everyday life in England. Jessica is quirky, she is very head strong and very vocal, unable to keep to her self what she thinks, this has made her popular with some, but unpopular with many. We follow along with her as she experiences her first crush, as she puts herself in danger, luckily living through a bombing. I loved her character and that of Miss Philomen, an elderly teacher who had been published. She was very observant, eccentric and a delight. So much of this coming of age story is.

Another offering from Nancy Pearl on NPR and a re-issue from the publisher. I love this author's writing, she is extremely talented with dialogue, and apparently this was the first book this author wrote. So the maturity of her later novels is missing but I think all the more delightful because of that.

Lastly Jessica Vye reminds me of myself at that age and it was very easy for me to relate to her, especially when I read these lines "I wish I read slower as a matter of fact because I can't get books to last>" A girl after my own heart. ( )
1 vote Beamis12 | Jan 6, 2014 |
A good read about life in England during WW2 and a good book for Jane Gardam complete-ists. Not a favorite of mine but a fine light novel. ( )
  bostonbibliophile | Nov 18, 2013 |
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Growing up in the middle of World War II and attending an all girls local school, Jessica, an aspiring writer, has difficulty dealing with authority.
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Thirteen-year-old Jessie knows she is a born writer, and through her honest records of parents, classmates and teachers, first love and World War II in England, she reveals her talent.

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