Jones, Vanessa Twelve

ISBN 13: 9780006551942

Twelve

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9780006551942: Twelve

How should a young woman live now?

Lily is waiting, as ever, for the weekend, waiting to get out of the city, waiting for that ever-elusive, life-defining, climactic episode, the one that will ‘explain to me everything that’s gone before, and everything that’s to come’.

She’s been friends with the decisive Edward and the freewheeling Josh for years, and makes what progress she does by clinging on to them. She seeks a narrative for her life, a story to dress in, and embarks on a daring, blind romance that begins on a train with the mysterious Colin, but just as swiftly talks herself out of it, out of commitment. Meanwhile, next door, Shirley, a plainer, simpler woman, just gets on with things, caring for home, husband and baby, making strides, repeating cycles.

Will Lily reach her epiphany? Will she recognize it when it arrives? Will it really change her life? Does she even need one?

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Review:

Twelve has the sheep's clothing of a Bridget Jones' clone. Lily, the central character, is a twentysomething woman living in London with a dull job and no man. The subtitle asks "How should a young woman live now?" and Lily's quest is for a real life, an escape from temporary measures. Lily's confessional narrative tracks her confusion, her sense that she should be somewhere else, someone else. In an effort to escape the "steep rock face" of a working week, she seeks respite with weekends in the country, parties and a date with a stranger. But she can't escape the feeling that there's something missing, that she's a bit-part actor in her own life.

As Twelve progresses, Jones layers each chapter with a different character's voice: old friends, a down-to-earth neighbour and Lily's date, Colin. There are sensitive, incisive observations--"the brown centre in one of his eyes has seeped a little into its white, a trickle of colour that's blurring its edge"--and a knack with words that twists the imagination. By asking the unexpected, this first novel is unsettling, unusual and perceptive. --Jane Honey

Review:

‘Twelve has the sheep’s clothing of a Bridget Jones clone. Lily is a twentysomething woman living in London with a dull job and no man. The subtitle asks
“How should a young woman live now?”
and Lily’s quest is for a real life, an escape from temporary measures. Lily’s confessional narrative tracks her confusion, her sense that she should be somewhere else, someone else. In an effort to escape the
“steep rock face”
of a working week, she seeks respite with weekends in the country, parties and a date with a stranger. But she can’t escape the feeling that there’s something missing, that she’s a bit-part actor in her own life. Jones layers each chapter with a different character’s voice: old friends, a down-to-earth neighbour and Lily’s date, Colin. There are sensitive, incisive observations and a knack with words that twists the imagination. By asking the unexpected, this first novel is unsettling, unusual and perceptive.’
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Jones, Vanessa
Published by Harpercollins Pub Ltd (2001)
ISBN 10: 0006551947 ISBN 13: 9780006551942
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Jones, Vanessa
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