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In the Place of Fallen Leaves Reviews

In the Place of Fallen Leaves by Tim Pears

In the Place of Fallen Leaves

Tim Pears

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1 review

Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 12 Jan 2017
ISBN: 9781408884102

Tim Pears' prize-winning, critically acclaimed debut about a hot summer in a Devon village where time seems to stand still This overwhelmingly hot summer everything seems to be slowing down in the tiny Devon village where Alison lives, as if the sun is pouring hot glue over it. `This idn't nothin',' says Alison's grandmother, recalling a drought when the earth swallowed lambs, and the summer after the war when people got electric shocks off each other. But Alison knows her grandmother's memory is lying: this is far worse.

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Henry Layte, from The Book Hive in Norwich, said: "It's set in Devon in a tiny little village,  about a girl becoming a woman,leaving her childhood years in the midst of this sweltering hot summer. It's a most glorious, beautiful piece of writing and it is about that emotional connection between people."


4 stars out of 5
27 Mar 1993

"Pears dexterously steers just clear of sentimentality in this unusually strong debut"

Pears' easygoing pace actually soothes away the urge for momentum. The scattered focus which at first seemed detrimental also grows into a strength. The novel's persistent digressions into diverse incidents in multiple lives adds up to a panorama of the ages (childhood, adolescence, middle and old age) and spans the century with its use of memories.

Pears' only partial immersion within Alison's perspective creates hitches when she exhibits unlikely omniscience as narrator of her older brothers' love lives, her mother's inner thoughts, and the quintessentially private intimacy between her grandparents. The writing is occasionally repetitive - a case of authorial amnesia? - and descriptions of sunsets and rustic scenes can nosedive into cliches. But Pears dexterously steers just clear of sentimentality in this unusually strong debut