All the Beggars Riding

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This book reminded me of how much I'd enjoyed Lucy's first novel there are some familiar themes and settings , and I think this third one is more ambitious but equally or even perhaps more? Dec 29, Amber Myott rated it it was ok. Here is another situation where I think Goodreads should have half star options! This book promised more than it delivered and was a little repetitive in the first half. View 2 comments. Aug 03, Tobey rated it liked it. I read it be because I saw this when touring Ireland.

I was disappointed by the story and found it quite boring.


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May 27, Adam rated it it was amazing. But in spite of the title, I loved this book. Lara, the main protagonist, is nearly 40 and childless. She watches a documentary on television about chernobyl and realises it relates to her own life somewhat — a tragic disaster the repercussions of which are still being felt 25 years later. A plastic surgeon in Belfast during the troubles, he spends most of his time there and it is where his wife and children live.

Her father is tanned despite him apparently being in rainy Belfast for the past few days. Caldwell handles this revelation expertly.

We move to fashionable 70s London, when her mother falls in love with a surgeon who freelances at her clinic. The writing is just incredible. It never feels disjointed, descriptions of setting, character and actions are just spot on. But I read it in just a few days and absolutely loved it.

Apr 02, Mary Lou rated it really liked it Shelves: irish. This novel is in three parts. In the first, Lara revisits her memories of an unusual family life.

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Having left it too late to talk to her mother about it, in Part 2,Lara uses her newly acquired writing workshop skills to write the story from what she believes would have been her mother's point of view. Finally, she tries to establish contact with the family she has not so far met. Lucy Caldwell's spare, elegant but soft and rounded style combines with a new take on an old story for an This novel is in three parts. Lucy Caldwell's spare, elegant but soft and rounded style combines with a new take on an old story for an interesting and satisfying read.

Her descriptions of Belfast are kind and clever. The opening is especially good- with thoughts and images tumbling round and round. There is an element of wondering afterwards what it was all about, but it would be just as pleasant to re read this novel as it was the first time. Apr 13, Debumere rated it really liked it Shelves: book-group-read. I had expected not very much from this, because of the naff cover and random title, but wow.

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All the Beggars Riding by Lucy Caldwell - A For Books' Sake Review

Fantastically written, not a happy moment to be read but just brilliant. I hate that. Just let a character carry on their miserable, meagre existence. It was a good read but not a cool, awesome read so yah, 4.

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High 5 to Lucy Wow! High 5 to Lucy Caldwell. May 06, Helen rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , from-public-library. Lara, the first person narrator, is coming to terms with the loss of her mother and her partner, and looks back at her strange childhood. Her father, a surgeon from Belfast, kept a second, secret family in London, which he visited regularly in connection with his private practice. Lara and her mother and brother lived an isolated life in his flat until his sudden death, when all was revealed to the world and the second family left unprovided for.

By the end she has established contact with one Lara, the first person narrator, is coming to terms with the loss of her mother and her partner, and looks back at her strange childhood. By the end she has established contact with one of her half-siblings and has moved on to a new relationship, and come to terms to some extent with the past.

The whole secret scenario was an interesting concept, as well as such things like how do arrangements like this made in the first flush of romance actually play out later on if not brought to an end - and how could all the logistics work for so long? At one point she asks the question herself, why did the wife in Belfast not ever want to visit the London flat, which she knew about? No satisfactory answer to this.

The Chernobyl extract at the beginning, while interesting and making a point about love, seemed overdone in the context of this story. A good story, though, and although you want to shake Lara's mother at times you can see how she allowed herself to be sucked in to a highly risky and ultimately very damaging situation. Jan 10, Mel rated it it was ok. I have mixed feelings about All The Beggars Riding. The stream of consciousness style at the beginning frustrated me and I found the narrator doubting herself very contrived. I didn't warm to the narrator Lara, or her brother as an adult.

Overall, I felt all of the characters were weak and a bit flat. Oddly, the only character who had any gumption and I felt anything towards was Veronica; and she only featured in a one page letter written by herself. I felt the plot was a good idea but the execution let it down. The topic should have and deserved to give the reader an emotional punch, but unfortunately this didn't happen.

A solid four stars, would of been more but I wasn't overly impressed with the ending. The story follows Lara trying to piece together her early part of her childhood after her mother's death. The second part of the story Lara writes from her mother's perspective. The story finishes with her return to Belfast to locate distant family. A story of broken families, secrets and loneliness. Nice to see the Belfast references. Jun 26, Ann rated it really liked it. Really great fictional exploration of memories and what we inherit from our parents.

What happens to the kid whose Dad has two families? How do kids parse that?

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I love the way Lucy Caldwell writes. It engages me. And I liked this book, but didn't love it. Because it didn't feel like a book, but a fragment of one. I wanted more or less. And it seems to come to no real conclusion, it just randomly ends with the the reason for the title. But man, I was hooked from page one.


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Especially when it talks about how the affair started. I felt like my heart was on a roller coaster ride. It's smart and easy reading. Easy as in it flows beautifully.