The Service of Clouds

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9780099274629: The Service of Clouds

At the far end of the long white gallery is a painting of a women, in pale flowing clothes and lying on a sofa beside an open window. The muslin curtains billow out towards her like clouds. There is a touch of brilliant red, the ribbon on her hat. The rest is the white, cream, palest grey. It is a painting which leads Flora on, beckoning her away from her childhood, her complaining, clinging mother, pert younger sister, and the confines of a small community, to a proud and self-reliant future. But later, its image is to prove the catalyst for the most signicant event in her life. Isolation, separation, solitude, betrayal. The shocks of life. The consolations and the beauty of death. A few piercing moments of absolute joy and perfect understanding. THE SERVICE OF CLOUDS is about these things, and also a bout love, loyalty, friendship, growing up and growing old.

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Review:

The Service of the Clouds uses the interesting device of a split narrative to tell the separate life stories of a mother and her son. Flora, the mother, has a difficult relationship with her own mother and leaves home early to work as a governess for a six-year-old boy. But, after the accidental death of the boy in her charge, she finds herself haunted her for the rest of her life as she drifts through various jobs. It is only when she accepts the help of a benevolent former employer, though, that she is able to put behind her the burdens of a failed relationship and debilitating illness to pursue her interest in art. Eventually she agrees to marry, though aware that it will be a marriage of affection and safety rather than love and passion.

The story of her son, who is a doctor, is told in between that of his mother, and though at no point do the narratives overlap, the parallels are sometimes striking. His life echoes hers through the strange awareness of death they share, and their similarly perfunctory marriages.

Hill concentrates so excessively on the internal thoughts and feelings of her characters that she up producing little more than an emotional map of their lives, which would, perhaps, work better were it not so heavily layered with mawkish sentiment. Fans may adore this novel, but others may find its laboured prose just a little bit too much. --Claire Allfree

Review:

'A beautiful and haunting novel about love, loss and the complexity of the human spirit.' --Independent on Sunday

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Susan Hill
Published by Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (1999)
ISBN 10: 0099274620 ISBN 13: 9780099274629
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. At the far end of the long white gallery is a painting of a women, in pale flowing clothes and lying on a sofa beside an open window. The muslin curtains billow out towards her like clouds. There is a touch of brilliant red, the ribbon on her hat. The rest is the white, cream, palest grey. It is a painting which leads Flora on, beckoning her away from her childhood, her complaining, clinging mother, pert younger sister, and the confines of a small community, to a proud and self-reliant future. But later, its image is to prove the catalyst for the most signicant event in her life. Isolation, separation, solitude, betrayal. The shocks of life. The consolations and the beauty of death. A few piercing moments of absolute joy and perfect understanding. THE SERVICE OF CLOUDS is about these things, and also a bout love, loyalty, friendship, growing up and growing old. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099274629

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Published by Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (1999)
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. At the far end of the long white gallery is a painting of a women, in pale flowing clothes and lying on a sofa beside an open window. The muslin curtains billow out towards her like clouds. There is a touch of brilliant red, the ribbon on her hat. The rest is the white, cream, palest grey. It is a painting which leads Flora on, beckoning her away from her childhood, her complaining, clinging mother, pert younger sister, and the confines of a small community, to a proud and self-reliant future. But later, its image is to prove the catalyst for the most signicant event in her life. Isolation, separation, solitude, betrayal. The shocks of life. The consolations and the beauty of death. A few piercing moments of absolute joy and perfect understanding. THE SERVICE OF CLOUDS is about these things, and also a bout love, loyalty, friendship, growing up and growing old. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099274629

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Book Description 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 129mm x 200mm x 19mm. Paperback. At the far end of the long white gallery is a painting of a women, in pale flowing clothes and lying on a sofa beside an open window. The muslin curtains billow out towards her like clouds.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 271 pages. 0.198. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099274629

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Service of Clouds (New edition), Susan Hill, At the far end of the long white gallery is a painting of a women, in pale flowing clothes and lying on a sofa beside an open window. The muslin curtains billow out towards her like clouds. There is a touch of brilliant red, the ribbon on her hat. The rest is the white, cream, palest grey. It is a painting which leads Flora on, beckoning her away from her childhood, her complaining, clinging mother, pert younger sister, and the confines of a small community, to a proud and self-reliant future. But later, its image is to prove the catalyst for the most signicant event in her life. Isolation, separation, solitude, betrayal. The shocks of life. The consolations and the beauty of death. A few piercing moments of absolute joy and perfect understanding. THE SERVICE OF CLOUDS is about these things, and also a bout love, loyalty, friendship, growing up and growing old. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099274629

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, 1999. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # F4-9780099274629

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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 288 pages. 7.87x5.08x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0099274620

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Book Description Random House. Book Condition: New. pp. 271. Bookseller Inventory # 38610938

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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099274620

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Book Description 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 129mm x 200mm x 19mm. Paperback. At the far end of the long white gallery is a painting of a women, in pale flowing clothes and lying on a sofa beside an open window. The muslin curtains billow out towards he.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 271 pages. 0.198. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099274629

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