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A Partisan's Daughter

by

A Partisan's Daughter Cover

 

Awards

The Rooster 2009 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee
The Rooster 2009 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Review-A-Day

"[A] largely unsatisfying exploration of loneliness buoyed only by moments of poignancy or humor, as well as an admittedly haunting ending....[T]he author comes off as showy and given to gratuitous displays of geo-historical knowledge." Rayyan Al-Shawaf, San Antonio Express-News (read the entire Express-News review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set in North London during the Winter of Discontent, A Partisan's Daughter features the relationship between Chris, an unhappily married, middle-aged Englishman and Roza, a young Serbian woman who has recently moved to London.

While driving through Archway in the course of his job as a medical rep, Chris is captivated by a young woman on a street corner. Clumsily, he engages her in conversation, and he secures an invitation to return one day for a coffee.

His visits become more frequent and Roza starts to tell him the story of her life, drawing him increasingly into her world — from her childhood as a daughter of one of Tito's Partisans through her journey to England and on to her more recent colourful and dangerous past in London.

A Partisan's Daughter is about the power of storytelling. It is also a beautifully wrought and unlikely love story which is both compelling and moving to read. Here is another wonderful novel from the author of the bestselling Birds Without Wings and Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Review:

"De Bernières (Corellis Mandolin) delivers an oddball love story of two spiritually displaced would-be lovers. During a dreary late 1970s London winter, stolid and discontented Chris is drawn to seedy and mysterious Roza, a Yugoslav émigrée he initially believes is a prostitute. She isnt (though she claims to have been), and soon the two embark on an awkward friendship (Chris would like to imagine it as a romance) in which Roza spins her lifes stories for her nondescript, erstwhile suitor. Roza, whose father supported Tito, moved to London for opportunity but instead found a school of hard knocks, and shes all too happy to dole out the lessons she learned to the slavering Chris. The questions of whether Roza will fall for Chris and whether Chris will leave his wife (he calls her the Great White Loaf) carry the reader along, as the reliability of Chris and Roza, who trade off narration duties, is called into question — sometimes to less than ideal effect. The conclusion is crushing, and Chris's scorching regret burns brightly to the last line." Publishers weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"De Bernires (Corelli's Mandolin) delivers an oddball love story of two spiritually displaced would-be lovers. During a dreary late 1970s London winter, stolid and discontented Chris is drawn to seedy and mysterious Roza, a Yugoslav migre he initially believes is a prostitute. She isn't (though she claims to have been), and soon the two embark on an awkward friendship (Chris would like to imagine it as a romance) in which Roza spins her life's stories for her nondescript, erstwhile suitor. Roza, whose father supported Tito, moved to London for opportunity but instead found a school of hard knocks, and she's all too happy to dole out the lessons she learned to the slavering Chris. The questions of whether Roza will fall for Chris and whether Chris will leave his wife (he calls her 'the Great White Loaf') carry the reader along, as the reliability of Chris and Roza, who trade off narration duties, is called into question — sometimes to less than ideal effect. The conclusion is crushing, and Chris's scorching regret burns brightly to the last line." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Back in the day, just getting over the Great Depression, I suppose, my mother and aunt would break into the cheap brown liquor they so loved to drink and then sit down and play piano duets: "Nola" was a favorite, and "Kitten on the Keys." It was a miracle when they hit a right note — you might say they were the unreliable narrators of those little tunes — but the general effect was often jaunty and... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] sad, quiet novel about missed opportunities owing to lack of honest communication. Although more introspective than de Bernières's other works, this latest novel is no less skillful." Library Journal

Review:

"A provocative and artful analyst of the human psyche, de Bernieres vividly celebrates the tantalizing strength of stories to transform individual lives through their eternal and universal appeal." Booklist

Review:

"Louis de Bernières delights in taking peripheral episodes of European history and viewing them on a human scale, moulding political events to the shape of ordinary lives....Like Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, A Partisan's Daughter is a retrospective lament for all that could have been, had one moment in the past turned out differently....It is also a story about the power of storytelling." The Observer

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Corellis Mandolin and Birds Without Wings (“de Bernières has reached heights that few modern novelists ever attempt” —The Washington Post Book World) comes an intimate new novel, a love story at once raw and sweetly funny, wry and heartbreakingly sad.

Hes Chris: bored, lonely, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. In his forties, hes a stranger inside the youth culture of London in the late 1970s, a stranger to himself on the night he invites a hooker into his car.

Shes Roza: Yugoslavian, recently moved to London, the daughter of one of Titos partisans. Shes in her twenties but has already lived a life filled with danger, misadventure, romance, and tragedy. And although shes not a hooker, when shes propositioned by Chris, she gets into his car anyway.

Over the next months Roza tells Chris the stories of her past. Shes a fast-talking, wily Scheherazade, saving her own life by telling it to Chris. And he takes in her tales as if they were oxygen in an otherwise airless world. But is Roza telling the truth? Does Chris hear the stories through the filter of his own need? Does it even matter?

This deeply moving novel of their unlikely love—narrated both in the moment and in recollection, each of their voices deftly realized—is also a brilliantly subtle commentary on storytelling: its seductions and powers, and its ultimately unavoidable dangers.

About the Author

Louis de Bernières was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book Eurasia Region in 1991 and 1992, and for Best Book in 1995. He was selected by Granta as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993, and lives in Norfolk, East Anglia.

www.louisdebernieres.co.uk

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307268877
Author:
de Bernieres, Louis
Publisher:
Knopf
Author:
Louis de Berni
Author:
Louis De Bernieres
Author:
E
Author:
Louis De Bernieres
Author:
Res
Author:
Louis de Bernires
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Storytelling
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Middle aged men
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Us
Publication Date:
20081007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.65 x 5.85 x .8 in .8 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2009
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Partisan's Daughter Used Hardcover
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$4.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307268877 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "De Bernières (Corellis Mandolin) delivers an oddball love story of two spiritually displaced would-be lovers. During a dreary late 1970s London winter, stolid and discontented Chris is drawn to seedy and mysterious Roza, a Yugoslav émigrée he initially believes is a prostitute. She isnt (though she claims to have been), and soon the two embark on an awkward friendship (Chris would like to imagine it as a romance) in which Roza spins her lifes stories for her nondescript, erstwhile suitor. Roza, whose father supported Tito, moved to London for opportunity but instead found a school of hard knocks, and shes all too happy to dole out the lessons she learned to the slavering Chris. The questions of whether Roza will fall for Chris and whether Chris will leave his wife (he calls her the Great White Loaf) carry the reader along, as the reliability of Chris and Roza, who trade off narration duties, is called into question — sometimes to less than ideal effect. The conclusion is crushing, and Chris's scorching regret burns brightly to the last line." Publishers weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "De Bernires (Corelli's Mandolin) delivers an oddball love story of two spiritually displaced would-be lovers. During a dreary late 1970s London winter, stolid and discontented Chris is drawn to seedy and mysterious Roza, a Yugoslav migre he initially believes is a prostitute. She isn't (though she claims to have been), and soon the two embark on an awkward friendship (Chris would like to imagine it as a romance) in which Roza spins her life's stories for her nondescript, erstwhile suitor. Roza, whose father supported Tito, moved to London for opportunity but instead found a school of hard knocks, and she's all too happy to dole out the lessons she learned to the slavering Chris. The questions of whether Roza will fall for Chris and whether Chris will leave his wife (he calls her 'the Great White Loaf') carry the reader along, as the reliability of Chris and Roza, who trade off narration duties, is called into question — sometimes to less than ideal effect. The conclusion is crushing, and Chris's scorching regret burns brightly to the last line." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "[A] largely unsatisfying exploration of loneliness buoyed only by moments of poignancy or humor, as well as an admittedly haunting ending....[T]he author comes off as showy and given to gratuitous displays of geo-historical knowledge." (read the entire Express-News review)
"Review" by , "[A] sad, quiet novel about missed opportunities owing to lack of honest communication. Although more introspective than de Bernières's other works, this latest novel is no less skillful."
"Review" by , "A provocative and artful analyst of the human psyche, de Bernieres vividly celebrates the tantalizing strength of stories to transform individual lives through their eternal and universal appeal."
"Review" by , "Louis de Bernières delights in taking peripheral episodes of European history and viewing them on a human scale, moulding political events to the shape of ordinary lives....Like Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, A Partisan's Daughter is a retrospective lament for all that could have been, had one moment in the past turned out differently....It is also a story about the power of storytelling."
"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed author of Corellis Mandolin and Birds Without Wings (“de Bernières has reached heights that few modern novelists ever attempt” —The Washington Post Book World) comes an intimate new novel, a love story at once raw and sweetly funny, wry and heartbreakingly sad.

Hes Chris: bored, lonely, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. In his forties, hes a stranger inside the youth culture of London in the late 1970s, a stranger to himself on the night he invites a hooker into his car.

Shes Roza: Yugoslavian, recently moved to London, the daughter of one of Titos partisans. Shes in her twenties but has already lived a life filled with danger, misadventure, romance, and tragedy. And although shes not a hooker, when shes propositioned by Chris, she gets into his car anyway.

Over the next months Roza tells Chris the stories of her past. Shes a fast-talking, wily Scheherazade, saving her own life by telling it to Chris. And he takes in her tales as if they were oxygen in an otherwise airless world. But is Roza telling the truth? Does Chris hear the stories through the filter of his own need? Does it even matter?

This deeply moving novel of their unlikely love—narrated both in the moment and in recollection, each of their voices deftly realized—is also a brilliantly subtle commentary on storytelling: its seductions and powers, and its ultimately unavoidable dangers.

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