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The Blue Flower is beautifully written; but, as importantly, it is original both in its conception and construction. Too often beautifully written means little plot or pretentious. The Blue Flower deals with some of life's most important issues with integrity and wisdom. Like many of Penelope Fitzgerald's other books, this feels like something she has been thinking about for years, so that the writing is distilled and every word perfectly chosen.
Have only read "the Bookshop" so far but loved the quiet humour and subtle but skilful character delineation and her grasp of the social nuances of the small town. Her evocation of the seaside town and the surrounding marshes is "Spot on"!
Penelope Fitzgerald's totally apt prose and subtly humorous characterization make these short novels an absolute delight. She had a marvellous talent to evoke people, times and places so that the reader can see them so clearly in his/her mind's eye. My only regret is that these stories are so short! Highly recommeded.
All three books, delightful. Written in the style of beautiful, traditional English women novelists. Very refreshing. Favourite was The Blue Flower, must have involved a great deal of very precise background research on domestic procedures and lifestyle of the period, which was really interesting for this reader.