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God on the Rocks by Jane Gardam
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God on the Rocks (original 1978; edition 2010)

by Jane Gardam

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2811840,152 (3.74)52
Member:brewergirl
Title:God on the Rocks
Authors:Jane Gardam
Info:Europa Editions (2010), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, Personal collection
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, read2012, england, BOMBS2012

Work details

God on the Rocks by Jane Gardam (1978)

  1. 00
    Who was Changed and Who was Dead by Barbara Comyns (lahochstetler)
    lahochstetler: Two books set in the English countryside, both about the bizarre side of human behavior.
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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Strange social novel from the early 20th century. Not my kind of book at all. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Jane Gardam, I'm going to guess, is an author who you've never heard of. But you should change that right away. I've read 3 of her books now and each one is wonderfully written and the stories are surprising. ( )
  stacykurko | Oct 29, 2015 |
In God on the Rocks bit by vague bit the reader slowly learns more about the relationships, especially between the members of two families within a English seaside town, until it all becomes clear in the end, with a few surprises thrown in for delectable measure. Gardam's prose is limpid, never fussy or overwrought. The dialogue is at times maddeningly, tantalizingly evasive and vague.

Most of the this summer world is viewed through the lens of an eight year old girl, Margaret, whose father insists on a rigidly religious household. Margaret's mother, a fanciful woman, tries to maintain the proprieties expected of the her banker-cum-charismatic-preacher husband, while Margaret at once chaffs at her father's teachings and proselytizes of her own accord. She is certainly a child who often "gets beyond herself" in her vexation with the seemingly queer ideas of adults. However, our omniscient narrator will sometimes shift her focus to other characters such as Margaret's mother Elinor. With these shifts much of that which has only been half understood begins to become clearer.

With the introduction of a voluptuous maid, a new baby in the household, and the return of Elinor's childhood friends to the area, family bonds are stretched to a breaking point.

God on the Rocks is a well paced book full of odd types and underlying mysteries of love, acceptance and change. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
In God on the Rocks bit by vague bit the reader slowly learns more about the relationships, especially between the members of two families within a English seaside town, until it all becomes clear in the end, with a few surprises thrown in for delectable measure. Gardam's prose is limpid, never fussy or overwrought. The dialogue is at times maddeningly, tantalizingly evasive and vague.

Most of the this summer world is viewed through the lens of an eight year old girl, Margaret, whose father insists on a rigidly religious household. Margaret's mother, a fanciful woman, tries to maintain the proprieties expected of the her banker-cum-charismatic-preacher husband, while Margaret at once chaffs at her father's teachings and proselytizes of her own accord. She is certainly a child who often "gets beyond herself" in her vexation with the seemingly queer ideas of adults. However, our omniscient narrator will sometimes shift her focus to other characters such as Margaret's mother Elinor. With these shifts much of that which has only been half understood begins to become clearer.

With the introduction of a voluptuous maid, a new baby in the household, and the return of Elinor's childhood friends to the area, family bonds are stretched to a breaking point.

God on the Rocks is a well paced book full of odd types and underlying mysteries of love, acceptance and change. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
In God on the Rocks bit by vague bit the reader slowly learns more about the relationships, especially between the members of two families within a English seaside town, until it all becomes clear in the end, with a few surprises thrown in for delectable measure. Gardam's prose is limpid, never fussy or overwrought. The dialogue is at times maddeningly, tantalizingly evasive and vague.

Most of the this summer world is viewed through the lens of an eight year old girl, Margaret, whose father insists on a rigidly religious household. Margaret's mother, a fanciful woman, tries to maintain the proprieties expected of the her banker-cum-charismatic-preacher husband, while Margaret at once chaffs at her father's teachings and proselytizes of her own accord. She is certainly a child who often "gets beyond herself" in her vexation with the seemingly queer ideas of adults. However, our omniscient narrator will sometimes shift her focus to other characters such as Margaret's mother Elinor. With these shifts much of that which has only been half understood begins to become clearer.

With the introduction of a voluptuous maid, a new baby in the household, and the return of Elinor's childhood friends to the area, family bonds are stretched to a breaking point.

God on the Rocks is a well paced book full of odd types and underlying mysteries of love, acceptance and change. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Because the baby had come, special attention had to be given to Margaret, who was eight.
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Book description
It is with great pleasure that Europa Editions makes this Booker Prize short-listed novel newly available to the legions of Gardam fans.

Originally published in Great Britain in 1978, the novel describes Margaret Marsh¹s coming of age one summer between the world wars. Caught in the backwash of a fervently religious father, a mother bitterly nostalgic for what might have been, the tea and sympathy of some thoroughly secular neighbors and the bawdy jokes of her nanny Lydia, Margaret¹s world hurtles towards a shattering moment of truth. Drama, tragedy and a touch of farce lend themselves to Gardam¹s typically eloquent prose. With subtlety and precision, God on the Rocks provides an intimate portrait of the tensions that divide men and women, present and past, and the love and sorrow that lingers throughout.

Jane Gardam¹s reputation in the United States has been greatly enlarged by the critical acclaim and commercial success garnered by her latest novels, last year¹s Man in the Wooden Hat and her masterpiece Old Filth. Now, newcomers and fans alike can enjoy the pleasure of the splendid writing that established Gardam¹s considerable canon some four decades ago.

~~ From Europa Editions
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Originally published in Great Britain in 1978, the novel describes Margaret Marsh's coming of age one summer between the world wars. Caught in the backwash of a fervently religious father, a mother bitterly nostalgic for what might have been, the tea and sympathy of some thoroughly secular neighbors and the bawdy jokes of her nanny Lydia, Margaret's world hurtles towards a shattering moment of truth. Drama, tragedy and a touch of farce lend themselves to Gardam's typically eloquent prose. With subtlety and precision, God on the Rocks provides an intimate portrait of the tensions that divide men and women, present and past, and the love and sorrow that lingers throughout. --From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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