Inspired by the tender and troubling friendship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, After Such Kindness demonstrates Gaynor Arnold's extraordinary 'capacity to imagine the truth behind the facts'. I liked the way the events were related by several different characters in overlapping narratives. The title of the book doesn't give much away and certainly didn't prepare me for the subject matter. About the author Gaynor Arnold was born in Wales, but now lives in Birmingham. I've had this book sitting on my shelf for a while but I had been putting off reading it. However the man whose intentions are suspect in the eyes of society, may himself be a relative innocent, while no one in the heroine's respectable middle-class c Gaynor Arnold has woven an ingenious narrative which uses Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's friendship with the young Alice Liddell as a starting point.
It is the other kind of predator that we must open our eyes to, the one we least suspect. It is superbly written and I liked the way the author looked at the different characters' perspectives on the events. For my full review: This is an unsettling and fascinating novel, looking at the relationship between Lewis Carroll whose real name was obviously Charles Dodgson and in this novel is renamed John Jameson Alice Liddell renamed Daisy Baxter and her family. As layers of the story are peeled back and Margaret begins to remember more about Jameson, the novel builds to a brilliant climax. Very interesting and well constructed with lots of clues and references which connect with the children's novels. My one big critism of the book was I found it hard to relate to the time period it was depicting and then over the course of reading it worked this out. I thought that this book was very well written and well structured.
It is a very strong, unflinching work. Stretching effortlessly from Paris to inner-city Birmingham, from the present day to the 1940s, these stories explore the daily misunderstandings and self-deceits, the secrets and lies that seep into all our lives. This book is loosely based on the story of Alice Liddell and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson Lewis Carroll , although there is no suggestion that any of the events or relationships in the book are factual. As with her earlier 'Girl in a Blue Dress' Gaynor Arnold paints a compelling picture of the dependency of the Victorian wife. I also admired the portrayal of Jameson.
I was therefor expecting whimsy. Luckily, the tantalising draw of the relationship between Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell, also known as Lewis Carroll and his Alice in Wonderland muse, proved too strong for Arnold to resist. She wonders if its contents will help her remember the four years of her adolescence she does not remember — the four years after she met John Jameson. It is fiction but based on research and it imagines the relationship between 'Alice', her family and Charles Dodgson. Oh well, I guess I'll go with four! In the story the character based on Carroll is not entirely innocent in his desires, but is much more so than some other characters. All in all, very good.
If you enjoy this novel, and I am sure you will, you might like to read The Alice Behind Wonderland by Simon Winchester, which looks at Lewis Carroll and his photography including his famous portrait of Alice Liddell in greater detail. The rest of the novel — although covering some of the same territory — is quite different in tone and structure. Really liked the different narrators filling in the blanks, and the tension in finding out exactly what had happened to Daisy. Daisy had been unable to keep her adored nanny Nettie after an accident by a river and Margaret struggles to reason with her husband. When Margaret stumbles across her childhood diary, it reawakens buried memories of the summer she befriended John Jameson and inspired him to write a novel based on her. Gaynor Arnolds Buch stellt jedoch keinen Deutungs- oder Klärungsversuch dar, sondern ist tatsächlich eine reine Fiktionalisierung: Sie denkt sich eine Geschichte um die historischen Vorbilder aus, die keineswegs andeuten will, dass es so hätte sein können.
Charles Dodgson, the man who wrote as Carroll. Some relati I read this book initially as it was recommended by a friend and I knew it was linked to the relationship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell. Brilliant story telling, fabulous characters and a beautiful knack for taking the expected and turning it on its head. I wasn't too happy with the ending and felt extremelly sorry for Margaret, the girl who 'lost' her memory of abuse. I think that this could have been handled better by the author. I read Gillespie and I a couple of years ago and while the two stories share few similarities other than vague time period, when I finished After Such Kindness I was left with a similar sense of unease.
Their disturbing friendship is described from its genesis and although you think from the book blurb, the story is going to go one way, when the dreadful twist is revealed you really are shocked. Quite an uncomfortable read at times, but it always kept my interest. A very worrying read that turns tail at the end to reveal a shocking truth. I found the narrative disjointed, with m I found this a thought-provoking book, although not a cosy read, when child abuse and insanity feature. Inste I've had this book sitting on my shelf for a while but I had been putting off reading it. There was something weird about it that I didn't like, something cold at the very centre of the story - it wasn't a fairy story, Good didn't defeat Evil, I didn't like Alice or indeed any of the other characters. Will reading the secrets held in those gilt-edged pages help fill the gaps in her memory and explain why the touch of her kind, considerate husband fills her with such revulsion? Would I have read this if I had known this? With the same assured feel for the Victorian period displayed in her prize-listed debut, Arnold brings to scintillating life an idiosyncratic genius and his timeless muse.
This one seems innocent: I find this to be a disturbing image of a little girl: Edith Ramage by Sir John Everett Millais when compared with this one, which it is based on: Penelope Boothby by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The position of the hands is different, the smile has become more of a smirk and the eyes more knowing, the title is suggestive and it all makes me wonder where those stairs are leading. Inspired by the tender and troubling friendship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell. These shortcomings aside, there is no doubting the writing talent possessed by Arnold — she manages to switch, apparently effortlessly, between writing styles and voices. With painful memories reignited by the diary, can the shadows cast by the past finally be laid to rest? The book is not disturbing - in fact at times it can be charming - but it does contain moments that are distressing.