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The children's book

by Byatt, A. S. 1936-

Format: Book on CD 2009
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
Community Library of Castle Shannon Audio Books (Cassettes and CD's) Book on Disc Fic Byatt (24)
Location  Community Library of Castle Shannon
Collection  Audio Books (Cassettes and CD's)
Call Number  Book on Disc Fic Byatt (24)
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Audio Books CD BYATT A.S.
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Audio Books
Call Number  CD BYATT A.S.
Upper St. Clair Township Library Audiobooks BYATT A.S.
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Audiobooks
Call Number  BYATT A.S.
Author A. S. Byatt presents a sweeping epic focused on a singular family that ranges from Victorian England to the Battle of the Somme during World War I. When her eldest son discovers runaway working-class artist Philip in the basement of the Victoria and Albert Museum, children's book author Olive Wellwood takes the promising young lad in. As Philip discovers Olive's private books written for her children, the lives and secrets of the many Wellwood family members unfold.
A spellbinding novel, at once sweeping and intimate, that spans the Victorian era through the World War I years, and centers around a famous children's book author and the passions, betrayals, and secrets that tear apart the people she loves. When Olive Wellwood's oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum-a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive's magical tales-she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends. But the joyful bacchanals Olive hosts at her rambling country house-and the separate, private books she writes for each of her seven children-conceal more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined. As these lives-of adults and children alike-unfold, lies are revealed, hearts are broken, and the damaging truth about the Wellwoods slowly emerges. But their personal struggles, their hidden desires, will soon be eclipsed by far greater forces, as the tides turn across Europe and a golden era comes to an end. Taking us from the cliff-lined shores of England to Paris, Munich, and the trenches of the Somme, The Children's Book is a deeply affecting story of a singular family, played out against the great, rippling tides of the day.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Byatt steps deeper into the realm of writing for special readers, forging onward in creating increasingly complicated fictional narratives. Her new novel can be labeled, at first call, as both historical fiction and a family saga; on second consideration, it can also be seen as a psychological study of social and economic privilege in the high tide of Britain's power: the last decade of the Victorian age, the Edwardian period, and up to World War I. The theme of privilege is attended by subthemes on the nature of childhood, the meaning of parenthood, and utopianism. Two families occupy the core of the elaborate plot, with one mother-wife, Olive Wellwood, at the absolute epicenter; she is a children's author and the family's breadwinner. The catalyst by which Byatt begins her detailed analysis of privilege is the early introduction into the story of a teenager named Phillip, who comes from a meager background and is more or less adopted into the Wellwood clan, to his benefit, for he is now allowed to give free rein to his talent in pottery making. An overlong but overall engaging evocation of time and place.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2009 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Byatt's overstuffed latest wanders from Victorian 1895 through the end of WWI, alighting on subjects as diverse as puppetry, socialism, women's suffrage and the Boer War, and suffers from an unaccountably large cast. The narrative centers on two deeply troubled families of the British artistic intelligentsia: the Fludds and the Wellwoods. Olive Wellwood, the matriarch, is an author of children's books, and their darkness hints at hidden family miseries. The Fludds' secrets are never completely exposed, but the suicidal fits of the father, a celebrated potter, and the disengaged sadness of the mother and children add up to a chilling family history. Byatt's interest in these artists lies with the pain their work indirectly causes their loved ones and the darkness their creations conceal and reveal. The other strongest thread in the story is sex; though the characters' social consciences tend toward the progressive, each of the characters' liaisons are damaging, turning high-minded talk into sinister predation. The novel's moments of magic and humanity, malignant as they may be, are too often interrupted by information dumps that show off Byatt's extensive research. Buried somewhere in here is a fine novel. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Women authors -- Fiction.
Children and adults -- Fiction.
Runaway children -- Fiction.
Country homes -- England -- Fiction.
Family secrets -- Fiction.
World War, 1914-1918 -- England -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Random House Audio,2009
Edition Unabridged.
Other Titles Children's book :
Contributors Landor, Rosalyn.
Random House Audio Publishing.
Participants/Performers Read by Rosalyn Landor.
Language English
Notes Unabridged.
Compact disc.
Description 24 audio discs (30 hr., 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
ISBN 9780307577528
Other Classic View