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The Wild

por Esther Freud

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1066261,784 (3.61)11
"William is tall and blond and handsome. He cooks homemade ravioli, cuts trees down with a chainsaw, and plays the guitar. When Francine rents two rooms from him, her daughter, nine-year-old Tess, cannot believe their good luck, and sets out on a campaign to make him love her. But William has three daughters of his own, a wife 500 miles away and a half-built garage to finish. And then there is Tess's brother to win round - Jake, who from the first day feels nothing for William but contempt." "When William and Francine become more deeply involved, Tess tries even harder to please the adults that she loves while staying loyal to Jake. So the two families become one, with the usual muddle of good intentions and the confusion of looking for happiness while trying to please."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Very good characterisation of children’s minds and wants
  MiriamL | Nov 3, 2021 |
I started reading this a few years ago but it didn’t really grab me. This time around I slipped into it a bit easier, & I did end up enjoying it. Yes, it’s very middle-class & comes with the usual eccentricities of that class, but that actually helps the story.

I found some of the characters difficult to relate to or to sympathise with, but that actually made the ending feel more satisfying so I suspect that was the emotion that the author wanted to provoke. I liked the use of foreshadowing which kept me wondering throughout the rest of the story until the conclusion answered all the questions. It made the book that more interesting but at the same time didn’t spoil the ending for me, which can sometimes be the case.

I thought this book was ok, but I can’t say I was engrossed in it. An easy read for entertainment really.
( )
  SadieBabie | Jun 23, 2018 |
I like Esther Freud's writing. She seems to have a niche of writing about uneven relationships in hippy chick settings.

In The Wild, two families are drawn together when a single mother of two children - Francine - rents a couple of rooms from another single parent at school who has three daughters (William). William commands an ideal of communal, self-sustaining living at his ramshackle home in the country ('The Wild'), where they eat and make much of what they need, and the children are encouraged to learn through work and creative play without television or other modern distractions.

A romantic relationship soon builds between Francine and William, but with Francine's children's having very opposing views on William's true nature, is William really the knight in shining armour that he portrays?

This was an enjoyable read, with excellent characters and a great sense of place. The conflicted, innocent emotions of the children were especially well handled.

4 stars - although not a book to remember necessarily, it was an enjoyable page-turner nonetheless. ( )
  AlisonY | Apr 26, 2018 |
This book tells the story of an unusual blended family, in which William, a man with sole custody of his three daughters, rents rooms to Francine, a woman with custody of her son and daughter. The house is an old bakery and the atmosphere is something like a commune, complete with a charismatic leader of sorts in the form of William. Francine's daughter, Tess, worships William and wants him to like her and care for Francine, while Francine's son, Jake, is skeptical of William's motives.

The story is told in third person, mainly from Tess's point of view. The beginning is slightly disorienting because there are a lot of names and characters to assimilate. I was close to drawing up a family tree to indicate all of the relationships, but eventually I sorted it out. Once all the characters had settled into my head, the book went by very quickly. The opening scene is shocking and there is an element of suspense; the rest of the book involves catching up to that moment and eventually learning the aftermath. Tess is the strongest character, because we are in her head so much. All of the characters have their moments and any of them could have made an interesting story on their own as well. I would especially have liked to follow more of Honour's story, Honour being the oldest of William's daughters. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jan 28, 2017 |
Not as exotically compelling as her Hideous Kinky. But even if not set in Morocco, it is still firmly set in the world of childhood. I haven't been the child of a broken marriage, a hapless mother who attaches herself to men who love their own children more and a disinterested father, but I can certainly feel what it is like from reading this novel. ( )
  triscuit | Sep 3, 2009 |
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"William is tall and blond and handsome. He cooks homemade ravioli, cuts trees down with a chainsaw, and plays the guitar. When Francine rents two rooms from him, her daughter, nine-year-old Tess, cannot believe their good luck, and sets out on a campaign to make him love her. But William has three daughters of his own, a wife 500 miles away and a half-built garage to finish. And then there is Tess's brother to win round - Jake, who from the first day feels nothing for William but contempt." "When William and Francine become more deeply involved, Tess tries even harder to please the adults that she loves while staying loyal to Jake. So the two families become one, with the usual muddle of good intentions and the confusion of looking for happiness while trying to please."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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