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The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise


The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise Cover



Reading Group Guide

In the tradition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Chocolat, Julia Stuart’s exquisite new novel is brimming with charm, whimsy, and wonder. The following questions are intended to enhance your reading experience and to generate lively discussion among the members of your book group.

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

bookeaze, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by bookeaze)
If you're an Anglophile and like "amusing" British writing, you'll love this book!
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Silvers Reviews, March 14, 2012 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)
Beefeaters, London, animals, and eccentric, endearing characters make up this book. It is somewhat disconnected in its entirety concerning the numerous characters, but the British humor and the silliness kept me reading.

You will meet Balthazar Jones and his wife Hebe who live in the Tower of London and who are in charge of the Tower....Balthazar is a Beefeater who became the keeper of the animals that had been gifts to the Queen. Hebe works in the London Underground Lost Property Office. She and her friend, Valerie Jennings, document everything that has been left on the London Underground and hope that people will eventually stop to reclaim their lost item. There are many strange items retrieved such as an urn with the remains of Clementine Perkins, thousands of pairs of false teeth, and an eyeball.

I really enjoyed Hebe the most.....I loved the strength she portrayed in dealing with the death of her son and her husband's lack of conversation about their son or just about anything. I also enjoyed the Reverend who pined for Ruby Dore and lived with rats that nibbled at his cassocks and the church kneelers and who secretly wrote erotic novels.

The most action takes place at the London Underground lost property office....even love.

There are many unique characters that will make you laugh out loud in this whimsical book. Oh, and we can't forget Mrs. Cook the 100-year-old tortoise who had a history of her own.

Be ready for a confusing but delightful ride through the lives of the characters who all have some heartache and/or secret. Don't give up because of the way the book begins.....I almost did, and it would have been a mistake. I enjoyed the book because of its history lesson and overall different theme. 4/5
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KYoung, January 5, 2012 (view all comments by KYoung)
Charming, funny, poignant, and sad. A truly delightful book! Would make a fantastic independent film.
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Product Details

Stuart, Julia
Anchor Books
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Humor : General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.19 x 0.67 in 0.5625 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction

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Product details 320 pages Anchor Books - English 9780307476913 Reviews:
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