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Oystercatchers

by Susan Fletcher

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21011101,497 (3.58)6
"Amy lies in a coma. Her older sister, Moira, comes to her in the evenings, sits beside her in a green-walled hospital room. Here, Moira confesses. She admits to her childhood selfishness which deeply hurt her family; to her savagery at boarding school; to the wild, bitter and destructive heart that she carried into her adult life. Moira knows this: that's she been a poor daughter, and a deceptive wife. But it is as Amy lies half-dying that she sees the real truth: she's been a cruel sister, and it is this cruelty that has led them both here, to this hospital bed.… (more)
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English (9)  French (2)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
In the interview with Susan Fletcher at the back of my copy, she says that she worried about creating an unlikable character in Moira in Oystercatchers. She tells us Moira is, 'complex, bitter and self-absorbed' and yes she is. This is a book about sibling rivalry and Moira is almost a teenager when her younger sister is born. Having been an only child for so long it is not surprising that she chose to punish her parents for bringing another child into her perfect world on the south coast of Wales. This novel is Moira's tale, at boarding school and later living in Norfolk with her husband. Moira is bullied at school and is very much alone but isn't without feelings. She is a troubled teenager. Susan Fletcher makes much of how Moira shunned her family and generally gives her a hard time, I feel more sympathetic to her and think much of her behaviour is understandable. Susan Fletcher does push the reader though and Moira's actions become less excusable. Much of the novel is Moira talking to her younger sister, telling her story. At different times she uses the first and third person to add to the confusion. It took a long time for oystercatchers to turn up in this novel but they did! ( )
  CarolKub | Dec 11, 2019 |
Much of this book covers the period in a girl's life when she leaves home in Wales and goes to boarding school in south east England. But I don't think this is so much a coming of age book as it is a book about relationships, betrayal and guilt. The school years 'merely' give us the background and context for the significant events that follow. I liked the book for its recognition of the complexity of relationships - marriage relationships, relationships between siblings, and adult-child relationships. Fletcher writes in what I (in my ignorance) would call a poetic style. Thoughtful, contemplative, deep. This was a random pick from my library's shelves. I had never heard of Susan Fletcher before, but now I'd like to read more of her work. ( )
1 vote oldblack | May 20, 2018 |
Haunting ( )
  chicjohn | Dec 3, 2009 |
This is a beautifully written, lyrical book. Unfortunately, the writing is also so slow and deliberate that I almost couldn't stand it. What little drama or action there was in the book was almost completely overwhelmed by the ponderous writing. ( )
  mzonderm | Sep 9, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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I dream of water, even now.
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"Amy lies in a coma. Her older sister, Moira, comes to her in the evenings, sits beside her in a green-walled hospital room. Here, Moira confesses. She admits to her childhood selfishness which deeply hurt her family; to her savagery at boarding school; to the wild, bitter and destructive heart that she carried into her adult life. Moira knows this: that's she been a poor daughter, and a deceptive wife. But it is as Amy lies half-dying that she sees the real truth: she's been a cruel sister, and it is this cruelty that has led them both here, to this hospital bed.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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