Come to the Edge

Come to the Edge

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
4
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A narrator in retreat from suburban life, a shambolic draughty farmhouse in a scenic valley...
A widowed survivalist called Cassandra White...
A banker, a village-full of empty second homes, and scores of poor and elderly people with nowhere to go...
A crazy utopian scheme to reclaim the valley for the locals.
A dark, timely satire from Joanna Kavenna, the prize-winning author of Inglorious and The Birth of Love...
Publisher: London :, Quercus,, 2012
ISBN: 9781780872131
Branch Call Number: FIC KAV
FIC KAV
Characteristics: 295 pages ; 20 cm

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s
stellamd
Feb 16, 2018

A wild and funny, sometimes gritty, fast read about life in present day rural England and the manipulation of property by the wealthy. Very well written. I would read anything by this author again.

g
GLNovak
Jun 17, 2017

Our narrator has thrown up her entire world to go live in the country with a widow who needs a bit of help. Help is not what she needs. Cassandra is a warrior woman who rejects all of society's material things and social ideas to live in a tumbling down house with no electricity or running water or in-floor heating. So basic she uses a thunderbox (look it up). The narrator mourns the loss of all her comforts and beautiful things and aspirations, but still she stays mucking out filthy barns and paddocks and milking uncooperative goats. The tone and language of this satire reminded me of Sophie Kinsella's style, only with a huge heavy dose of satire and social comment thrown in. Resettlement of the poor, the old, the infirm, the fringes of society is a worthy cause, but as you read this very fast-paced book (one day to read), you will fear the worst. I did like the book but have to say I took a huge breath at the end and let out a bit of a sigh for the end. Fleshed out more, I think I would have given this a higher rating.

u
Urbano
Aug 07, 2014

When the narrator's placid, materialistic suburban life is shattered by her husband trading her in for a new and improved model, she throws her habitual caution to the wind and answers an ad: widow seeks companion for help around the farm.

She arrives expecting a bucolic farm holiday spent with a sweet old lady in a cardigan only to find out the widow is a 6 foot tall, fiery red-headed warrior goddess with revolution on her mind. The widow warrior doesn't believe in government, state education, private property, processed food or--worst of all--indoor plumbing.

This modern day Robin Hood story grabbed me on the first page, had me laughing by the second and hanging on for a wild ride all the way through. Kavenna's writing is fresh, energetic and bitingly funny; it's easy to see why she was on Granta's list of 20 best young writers. Yet underneath the satire, the author raises some interesting questions about the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor. Highly recommended for lovers of dark humour.

m
mclarjh
Mar 26, 2014

Nice writing, but the characters and story are light.

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