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When Nights Were Cold: A literary mystery (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Susanna Jones
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

As Queen Victoria’s reign reaches its end, Grace Farringdon dreams of polar explorations and of escape from her stifling home with her protective parents and eccentric, agoraphobic sister.

But when Grace secretly applies to Candlin, a women’s college filled with intelligent, like-minded women, she finally feels her ambitions beginning to be take shape. There she forms an Antarctic Exploration Society with the gregarious suffragette Locke, the reserved and studious Hooper and the strange, enigmatic Parr, and before long the group are defying their times and their families by climbing the peaks of Snowdonia and planning an ambitious trip to the perilous Alps.

Fifteen years later, trapped in her Dulwich home, Grace is haunted by the terrible events that took place out on the mountains. She is the society’s only survivor and for years people have demanded the truth of what happened, the group’s horrible legacy a millstone around her neck. Now, as the eve of the Second World War approaches, Grace is finally ready to remember and to confess . . .

From one of the finest writers of the psychological thriller comes this beautifully woven, deeply unsettling historical novel; powerfully atmospheric, shivering with menace and reminiscent of the very best of Sarah Waters.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 811 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 352 pages
  • Editeur : Mantle; Édition : Main Market Ed. (1 mars 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005I3PD8I
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°72.390 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 VW 4 mai 2014
Par VW
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The imagination of the author is reflected in that of her principle character. The atmosphere created worked so well that I felt cold and was often prompted to put on an extra sweater.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 When nights were cold 31 décembre 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Roman très énigmatique. On ne sait jamais vraiment sur quel pied danser avec cette héroïne, de ce point de vue-là, c'est très réussi, souffle le chaud et le froid
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  4 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting Story of Female Emancipation 28 mars 2012
Par Brett H - Publié sur
When Nights Were Cold is principally set in the early part of the twentieth century in England, and subsequently as Grace looks back on the events of her life. Grace and her sister, Catherine, came from a quite oppressive home background where the woman's place was firmly in the home, preferably looking after her parents.

The two girls react in quite different ways. When Catherine, a talented pianist, is offered a place at the Royal College of Music, her father forbids her to take it up. Catherine knuckles under and accepts the situation. However, Grace is made of much sterner stuff and, in the face of her parents' intransigent opposition, goes off to get a degree, financially supported by her aunt who lives in America. However, this is set in the days when the suffragettes were fighting for women to be given the vote and this was the current political cause on everyone's lips, although far from universally supported. Grace has been inspired by Antarctic exploration at home, and in a spirit of adventure and emancipation, finds her outlet in mountain climbing with three college friends.

It is clear from the girls' initial efforts in Snowdonia in Wales, that although one of the trio is an experienced climber, they are hopelessly undertrained and under resourced for this sort of adventure. This does not deter them, and they are soon in the Alps with the object of furthering their mountaineering careers. It is clear from the outset that tragedy is not far away, and both the Amazon description of this book and the notes on the cover, effectively foreshadow this.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story which is told by Grace. Clearly Grace is not entirely frank in her recollections of what happened, and it is up to the reader to read between the lines. It is clear that Grace has a measure of mental problems and this aspect is very well handled by the author. This is quite a short book and I read through it very quickly. There is quite a lot of depth and complexity to Grace as a character, in marked contrast to her sister who comes across as rather insipid and much more prepared to go with the flow. Highly Recommended!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Convincing characters, intriguing plot... 17 février 2012
Par FictionFan - Publié sur
On the anniversary of a long-ago mountaineering tragedy in which her friend died, Grace Farringdon sits alone in her old family home reminiscing. She tells us of her childhood, when her fascination for the exploits of Scott and Shackleton inspired her dream of becoming an explorer. Defying her parents who expect her to stay at home until she marries, Grace finds a way to go to university, where she meets the three friends whose deaths will shape her life.

As Grace remembers her past, she shows us how restrictive life was for young British women in the early 20th century and how difficult, often scandalous, it was for them to break away from the conventional. The four oddly-matched friends take up mountaineering and we follow them as they take on harder and harder challenges. But we also see Grace's struggle to compromise with her family's expectations without giving up the freedom and adventure she finds so compelling.

This is a story that deals with friendship, family, rivalry, love and tragedy and does so in an immensely readable way. Although told in the first person, enough of Grace's thoughts are hidden to allow for suspense to be there till the end. I found her to be a fascinating, ambivalent character and was completely drawn in to her story. Very well written, with convincing characters and an intriguing, well-rounded plot - highly recommended.

This review is of a proof copy provided to me by the UK Amazon Vine programme.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Obsession and madness 27 mai 2012
Par Damaskcat - Publié sur
Grace Farringdon was born in the nineteenth century when women were expected to marry and raise a family and have no life outside their homes. Unfortunately for her she has an obsession with mountain climbing and Antarctic and Arctic explorers. She longs to climb and explore such regions herself. But as the twentieth century dawns and women campaign for the vote and access to education Grace's family want her to be a conventional woman.

Grace manages to go to university and meets a group of like-minded young women and they go on trips both to rugged places in England and to the Alps in Switzerland. Friendship and rivalry can be two sides of the same coin and Grace finds herself constantly at war with one of their group - Cicely Parr. When an accident on the Matterhorn kills a member of their group, Grace becomes obsessed with what happened.

Family rivalries with her sister, Catherine, and rivalries within her group of friends start to affect Grace's sanity. Is she mad or is she sane? In an age when unusual behaviour in women is automatically classed as the start of madness she runs the risk of life in an asylum. Can she find fulfilment in her life or will she be constantly haunted by what happened?

I found this book interesting and an uncomfortable read because it deals with madness and the fine line between that and sanity. I thought the way the manners and customs of the age limited a woman's life choices was well done. I did not find Grace a particularly likeable character at times though I could understand her frustrations and the way she related to the people in her life. Because the story is told through Grace's eyes I found it difficult to form a coherent picture of the other people in her life and it was as though I saw them through a veil. I felt that this was perhaps the intention of the author.

I found the constant changes between past and present difficult to identify and I felt it could have been made clearer whether past or present was being described. For this reason I have only give the book four stars.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Women with altitude 9 juillet 2012
Par Steve Benner - Publié sur
Susanna Jones' fourth novel, "When Nights Were Cold", is a disturbing and yet gripping read. It is set in the early years of the twentieth century, as the reign of Queen Victoria draws to an end. It is an age of polar and remote mountain expeditions, as men of adventure strive to combat the inhospitable conditions that prevent them accessing the very extremities of the planet. It is the time too of the rise of the great movements of women's suffrage and emancipation; Susanna Jones combines these various elements to great effect in her tale of Grace Farringdon, whose invalid father has instilled in her a love of the wild and inhospitable places and yet who would never for a second countenance the idea that a woman should ever do anything other than stay and mind the home. Rebellious and reckless, Grace has her own ideas...

Narrated by Grace herself from the perspective of the inter-war years, the story shifts uneasily between the cloying and claustrophobic environment of the family home in Dulwich, and the expansive and yet hostile setting of the mountains of Snowdonia and the Alps. Both settings come across as equally perilous -- psychologically, in the case of the former; physically in the latter -- and disaster of one sort or another never feels far away.

Susanna Jones does a cracking job of maintaining the suspense and interest in the half a dozen threads that unravel as the tale proceeds and it is never at all clear precisely where Grace's story is heading, or whether that be to catharsis or catastrophe. Or both.
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