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The Hand That First Held Mine

by Maggie O'Farrell

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9836315,288 (3.85)69
A spell-binding novel of two women connected across fifty years by art, love, betrayals, secrets, and motherhood.
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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
This is the second novel I've read by Maggie O'Farrell. I loved The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and this one was just as good. ( )
  baruthcook | Aug 26, 2020 |
Have loved all of Maggie O'Farrel's other books but was so disappointed with this one. I had to read it to the end to find out how these two story lines were connected but felt no love for any of the characters and actually was very disappointed with the ending as well. ( )
  myers3 | Aug 27, 2018 |
A slow start, but ultimately a very gripping read. Many of the same themes as O'Farrell's earlier novel The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Lexie Sinclair, having grown up in rural England, escapes to the city at her first opportunity in the 1950's. There, she eventually becomes an art journalist. Meanwhile, in present day England, Elina is struggling with the challenges of new motherhood, gradually becoming more estranged from her husband Ted.

It's been quite a few years ago that I read it, but I really enjoyed O'Farrell's The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox. This story was similarly multi-layered and overall was well-written, but it lacked the ability to really absorb me the way the previous novel did. I had trouble relating to the characters and never felt more than a superficial connection to them. The first half of the novel, especially from Elina's point of view, felt drab and uninteresting to me. It wasn't until the second half that I began to become somewhat engaged, and from there the plot led up to a rather abrupt, bittersweet ending. I felt this novel had good potential, but I doubt that it will stick with me. ( )
  indygo88 | Jan 1, 2018 |
A totally engrossing novel in which 2 seemingly unrelated stories- 1 set in the 1950s involving Lexie & Innes & the other set in contemporary times involving Elinor & Ted gradually come together. Besides the very big skeleton in the cupboard, O'Farrell delivers a wonderfully drawn portrait of life in 1950s Soho and a very strong female protagonist in Lexie ( )
  sianpr | Oct 18, 2017 |
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Epigraph
And we forget because we must. - Matthew Arnold
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for IZ
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for WD
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Listen. The trees in this story are stirring, trembling, readjusting themselves.
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A spell-binding novel of two women connected across fifty years by art, love, betrayals, secrets, and motherhood.

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