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The Forrests

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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Collections

The Forrests

By Emily Perkins

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Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 May 2012
Dorothy Forrest is immersed in the sensory world around her; she lives in the flickering moment. From the age of seven, when her odd, disenfranchised family moves from New York City to the wide skies of Auckland, to the very end of her life, this is her great gift and possible misfortune. Through the wilderness of a commune, to falling in love, to early marriage and motherhood, from the glorious anguish of parenting to the loss of everything worked for and the unexpected return of love, Dorothy is swept along by time. Her family looms and recedes; revelations come to light; death changes everything, but somehow life remains as potent as it ever was, and the joy in just being won't let her go. In a narrative that shifts and moves, growing as wild as the characters, The Forrests is an extraordinary literary achievement. A novel that sings with colour and memory, it speaks of family and time, dysfunction, ageing and loneliness, about heat, youth, and how life can change if 'you're lucky enough to be around for it'.

Promotional Information

An extraordinary literary novel, this is prize-winning author Emily Perkins's greatest work to date

About the Author

Emily Perkins is the author of Not Her Real Name, a collection of short stories which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and the novels Leave Before You Go, The New Girl and, most recently, Novel About My Wife, winner of the Believer Award. Emily Perkins lives in New Zealand.


Perkins is an extraordinary writer ... The Forrests is a novel to be savoured -- Daisy Goodwin * Sunday Times * Exhilarating to read: intensely attentive, funny, lyrical and moving -- Kate Summerscale * Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year * Funny, painful and utterly mesmerising * Independent on Sunday * Brilliantly and differently boundary-smashing ... An ambitious and unerringly feminine family saga flooded with light and life. Her description of how it feels to get a small child dressed after swimming is still with me months after reading -- Julie Myerson * New Statesman, Books of the Year * The novel I would most like to press into my friends' suitcases this summer ... kept me up reading late into the night -- Helen Brown * Daily Telegraph * Word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph this book accelerates into brilliance ... remarkable -- Tom Sutcliffe * BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review * The Forrests is our tip for this year's Man Booker * Hay Festival * Long before its publication The Forrests was being tipped for the 2012 Booker Prize. For once this hype can be believed. This novel is outstanding ... This is can't-put-down stuff ... To call Perkins an acute observer doesn't begin to do justice to her almost extrasensory powers ... A book of the year and then some -- Stephanie Cross * The Lady * Extraordinary ... It is so sensitively rendered that you feel every detail, down to the blades of grass that grazes the children's knees ... It seems, in these pages, as if Perkins has a special gift for capturing a child's inner universe, but the talent extends itself as the novel progresses to the incandescent joys and devastations of teenage love, the compromises of mid-life and the tragedy of old age ... a magnificent novel -- Arifa Akba * Independent * Perkins writes vividly and often beautifully ... an intelligent and perceptive novel -- Allan Massie * Scotsman * An expansive and ambitious novel, beautifully written and covering great swathes of emotional territory. Emily Perkins takes a lot of risks and pulls them off * Lawrence Norfolk * The Forrests is nothing less ambitious than the sweep of an entire life, from childhood to the point of death ... its precise, sensuous prose is a reminder of the intensity and importance of the lives we live on the outside * Times Literary Supplement * A strikingly skilful storyteller * Joseph O'Connor * The landscape is vividly, tangibly present, Perkins' descriptions make you stop and stare ... Dorothy's is an ordinary, wondrous life, told with an engaging intensity, in language that constantly surprises and delights * Psychologies *

EAN: 9781408809235
ISBN: 1408809230
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Dimensions: 21.6 x 15.3 centimetres (0.36 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
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Elizabeth on
Only New Zealanders seem to be able to write about ordinary lives in such an interesting, evocative style that keeps you reading until the end.

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