The supernatural begins to seem more real than reality. Some people just cannot seem to move on. This was a short book, a simple story and, easily read. So the pleasures of this book are not those of the classic ghost story. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: It even seems beautifully effortless as if each perfect word simply floated down to the page although anyone who writes knows that books rarely ever happen that way.

At around this time I began to write the poems which formed my first poetry collection, The Apple Fall, and to publish these in magazines. It centres on Isabel, a young woman who has recently married and moved to an unfamiliar Yorkshire town with her husband Philip, a doctor. My first novel for children was Going to Egypt, published in , and my first novel for adults was Zennor in Darkness, published in , which won the McKitterick Prize. They didn’t have any depth to them and I didn’t get to know them at all. I just felt a bit too distanced from it. Set in in Yorkshire, a young couple move into a rented flat. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here:

The Greatcoat

It’s not like the book is bad, it’s just not so fantastic greaatcoat I hoped it to be. What I had learned of prose technique through the short story gave me the impetus to start writing novels. What a haunting, chilling yet beautifully constructed ghost story. It’s a layered story, three different narratives in one; there’s the one about the newlywed couple, some years after the war, her struggle to become what is expected of a wife; then, simultaneously there’s the story about what happened during the war, and both stories are intertwining through what at first seems to be the protagonist’s imagination, sprouting from boredom, but getting dangerously real in the end.

In just one paragraph below we are not only reminded of the stringency of those times but we are given insights into two of the main characters: The Greatcoat is a slight book, but a thoughtful one, and the pacing works well. As hellen GP he spends much of his time working, while Isabel tries hard to adjust to the realities of married life. When Isabel discovers an old RAF greatcoat in a cupboard, she begins to have memories – but are they hers? To be honest, the cover probably is the thing that got me to buy the book.


My only criticism is a decision that Dunmore makes at the end of the novel. Mar 10, Kirsty rated it liked it Shelves: She had only to open her mouth and he would hate her.

This leaves a young and lost Isabel alone in a cold and unfriendly apartment with only the book Early Days: Really good – more of 3. No, I finished it quickly because the writing was so simplistic I slipped through it in a rush and reached the end thinking.

The portrait of Philip, an essentially good man who wants to help society, but who is constrained by his upbringing and his notions of what a woman should be dunmroe do is very well written. The thing is, it’s all about mood and atmosphere.

But, can history be so easily forgotten? Our thanks to the kind people at Hammer yes, those very people who brought us the scary films for inviting us to review this book. Dunmore’s gift, familiar from The Siege and The Xunmoreis to use a finely drawn domestic setting to show the great events of European history on a human scale.

The Siege has been translated into Russian by Tatyana Averchina, and extracts have been broadcast on radio in St Petersburg. It was impossible that a greatcoat bundled away in a cupboard for years could smell of summer fields.

Half the time I didn’t know who Isabel was and so I couldn’t fully invest in their relationship. And seen as novella rather than novel, it might be received better by readers for its slender but powerful story.

She becomes more confused as she realises it’s someone she seems to know – or does she? My friend Marta lent me her paperback copy of The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore and I read the whole book, practically in one sitting, this afternoon.


The greatcoat, by Helen Dunmore | From Isi

I remember being caught up in this state particularly in the summers when I was age 15 and 16, feasting on Thomas Hardy and Andrew Lang’s editions of fairy tales Her husband, Phillip, seems absent in many ways thus the arrival of the greatcoat and its stranger were quite a Creepy ghost story indeed! Nov 07, Helena rated it really liked it Shelves: Feb 03, Jessica rated it really liked it Recommends it for: At the conclusion of the book, there is an Afterword section from the author on how the book came into being.

Still, a well written ghost story is a marvellous thing, and this is certainly a very well written ghost story. The reader has to let the story wash over them, confident that the meaning will evolve.

This one is a solid ghost story, set in Yorkshire, about 6 years after the end of the war. Once wrapped in the coat she is beset by dreams.

The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore – review

Sep 13, Jo Cameron-Symes rated it it was amazing. I didn’t care about them, which made the reading of this novel slightly hard going. For me, that’s the attraction. I began to travel a great deal within the UK and around the world, for poetry tours and writing residences. Dunmore creates a subtly haunting dreamy atmosphere that permeates the page and bleeds off, into our lives. She and her new husband, Philip are hoping to get a home of their own before too long, but in the meantime they are renting part of a house that has been divided into two flats.

February 11, by heavenali.

Her husband Philip fell comfortably into his role as the new doctor.

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