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Book giveaway: Ghostwritten

(26 Posts)
TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Jun-14 10:22:52

We have 50 copies of Isabel Wolff's new book, Ghostwritten to giveaway this week. Gripping, poignant and beautifully researched, Ghostwritten is a story of survival and love, of memory and hope.

Jenni is a ghostwriter - she writes the lives of other people. It's a job that suits her well: still haunted by a childhood tragedy, she finds it easier to take refuge in the memories of others rather than dwell on her own.
Jenni has an exciting new commission, and is delighted to start working on the memoirs of a Dutchwoman, Klara. As a child in the Second World War, Klara was interned in a camp on Java during the Japanese occupation – she has an extraordinary story of survival to tell.

But as Jenni and Klara begin to get to know each other, Jenni begins to do much more than shed light on a neglected part of history. She is being forced to examine her own devastating memories, too. But with Klara's help, perhaps this is finally the moment where she will be able to lay the ghosts of her own past to rest?

Click here to find out more about the book and apply for a free copy. If you're one of the lucky fifty don't forget to come back and share your thoughts or post a review (and of course talk about the book on twitter).

This book giveaway is sponsored by Harper Collins.

frazzledbutcalm Sun 22-Jun-14 22:17:07

Have applied, fingers crossed. Definitely my kind of book!

TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Jun-14 10:44:22

Thanks to all who applied, this giveaway is now closed. We'll be in touch with the winners shortly.

ThursdayLast Fri 18-Jul-14 09:58:43

My copy just showed up, I'd totally forgotten I'd applied!
What's the protocol now?

Ellisisland Mon 21-Jul-14 09:35:08

I just finished this book and I really enjoyed it. Thought the descriptions of Java camps were heartbreaking and really made you feel like you were there. I won't say much more as I don't want to spoil it for others but I really recommend this one.

0pheliaBalls Mon 21-Jul-14 17:44:00

About a third of the way through. Was a bit concerned that it would be a bit chick litty - thought I wouldn't enjoy it at all. But so far, it's pretty wonderful. Klara is totally believable and her childhood in Java so vividly evoked. Will be back when I've finished!

BooksandCats Fri 25-Jul-14 09:46:32

I recieved my free copy of this book the other day! (Thanks Mumsnet!) I started it and finished it within 2 days. I could not put it down. It was so moving, the descriptions of the places were beautiful and convincing. It was fasciniating to learn about a part of the war that is not spoken about as much. The descriptions of the suffering that went on in the Japanese prison camps was heart breaking. There are two main characters in the book and both have secrets and a story to tell. Sometimes in a book you find that your more interested in one person then the other but in this book I found they were both equally compelling and I couldn't wait to move onto the next chapter to uncover more details. I would definitely recommend this book.

ThursdayLast Sun 27-Jul-14 22:17:32

I've just started this. So far, so chick litty but other reviewers give me hope that Klara's story will be more satisfying.

I just wanted to say that I blinking we'll know where this is! In Cornwall I mean, I grew up a stones throw from where this is!
The fish shop with strange opening times was what gave it away, and when I checked the acknowledgements-familiar names!

ThursdayLast Tue 29-Jul-14 12:09:00

Finished this morning.

My appreciation of her descriptions of Cornwall/rural/farming/coastal life were totally skewed by my own perspective. It seemed v try hard, but I imagine to others it was effective.

The parts set in Java and the camps I found incredibly moving and I really felt like I learned something about that place in that era.

I felt v much like plucking my DS out of his cot and hugging him tight throughout much of it. It was incredibly poignant on the topic of motherhood.

majjsu Tue 29-Jul-14 21:55:42

I received this book out of the blue, thank you Mumsnet. I have to say I enjoyed this book. It was very descriptive, poignant and made me really thankful for little things that I have. The WW2 descriptions were at times hard to read, that people can hurt each other so much, still makes me wonder. There are 2 key female characters, who both have a story to tell. I have to say it kept me wanting to know more, what would happen next. Sometimes I feel let down by the ending of a book, not in this case. I would really recommend.

starlight36 Wed 30-Jul-14 13:11:16

It was the first book I'd read by the author and the writing style is lighter (more chick lit) than I usually read. However the two stories covered in the novel are both compelling and the Java memories are tackled in a sensitive way. Fortunately most readers won't relate too closely to the actual events but the feelings of guilt, long term resentment and blame within families will be familiar to many of us.

0pheliaBalls Wed 30-Jul-14 17:46:39

Finished this a few days ago.

Yes, it was a bit chick litty in places, as I feared, but the story came into its own in Klara's narrative. Here it was sometimes difficult to read - the depiction of life in the camps was often harrowing. Impeccablely researched, too. Ultimately I wish it all could have been about Klara - I found the modern day protagonist, Jenni, unengaging and unnecessary. I would have preferred to have read the book she had ghostwritten rather than the the one she was in!

All in all, not my usual sort of book but I'm glad I read it. Thank you, MN smile

fanmum Sat 09-Aug-14 07:21:03

Thank you for the book. It was throughly moving & I couldn't put it down.
The author manages to capture the readers imagination & transport the reader into the camp life. It was a very good read.

gojiberries Wed 13-Aug-14 11:35:25

Thank you for this wonderful book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading on holiday. It was such a descriptive and moving story which was told in a beautiful way. I found the section on the camps very disturbing and harrowing but this was a book I just couldn't put down. I also thought it was extremely well researched and one of the best books I have read in quite a while. I loved the way that two woman had a story to tell and found they had something in common. A beautifully told story and a very compelling read.

bernie77 Thu 04-Sep-14 15:43:44

Deeply moving, and the descriptions of both Cornwall and Java made me want to visit, though I found the weird coincidence of the Cornish village hard to take. Overall, though it was interesting, it won't be in my list of favourite's.

I received my copy so thank you, though as there was no note I wasn't sure at first where it had come from (I get books sent from publishers etc) so bit of confusion but happy now to join this discussion and say I really loved this book and have recommended it to a few reading groups and friends. I preferred Klara's history to the modern day chick lit part but understood the comparisons it drew and how it helped unearth Klara's terrible secrets. The historical references to the Tenko camps and the fate of so many women & children were horrifying to read but poignantly written.

lalamcbride Tue 09-Sep-14 16:41:13

"Good story of history / memories of 2nd world war on java…" 3

I wasn't impressed to begin with and felt that the opening chapters focused to much on details. However once you got past that, and actually got to the main story of the memories of the interment camps on java, it became very interesting to read. It was here that those little details became important.

I also liked that there was a section at the back of the book were you could find out more about the true story.

This book would suit anyone who has an interest in history, memories etc, anne frank style books.

I would also agree with some of the other comments that the secondary storyline of the ghost writer wasn't really needed, but I can appreciate why the author thought it might make the book more interesting.

Well worth a read

recipequeen Tue 09-Sep-14 17:12:39

I found this book incredibly moving and interesting. I have not read any books by this author before but was gripped all the way through.
This story had obviously been well researched and this shone through in the way the story unfolded.
It was painful to read sections of the book where the prisoners were beaten or starved and treated badly but you felt as if you were in the camps with them.
This was a book which personally I was sad to finish.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read it.

Annbag Tue 09-Sep-14 19:09:36

Thank you for this book mumsnet, and apologies for not posting on here sooner - I'd posted on the review thread.

This book started off in a rather chick lit style (which isn't my kind of thing) , so I wasn't sure if it was going to be the type of thing I'd like, but it soon improved.

I found Klara's story of life as a prisoner of war on Java much more engaging than Jenni's story in the modern day.

Overall a good book, but I found it a little light and fluffy in places for such a serious topic. I'd give it 3.5 stars out of 5 - a good read

queenoftheschoolrun Tue 09-Sep-14 19:22:25

I thought it was very much a book of two halves - Klara's story was well written, thought provoking and interesting, particularly the harrowing description of life in the camps.

However, the ghostwriter's story was very much run of the mill chick lit which just detracted from the historical storyline in my opinion.

rachyj79 Tue 09-Sep-14 20:13:23

I loved this book and devoured it, reading twenty chapters in one day.

I felt it was a little slow at first but once we are introduced to Klara and both storylines begin to pick up pace, I was hooked. Klara's story was heartbreaking and reduced me to tears on several occasions(it's been a long time since I cried at a book).The writing was sensitive,at times moving and the story absolutely gripping.

I wasn't so fond of Jenni's character but she was necessary to develop and explore Klara's story and discover what they have in common.

Overall, this is a beautiful story about moving on from the past,laying ghosts to rest and human strength in the face of adversity.

roggy45 Tue 09-Sep-14 21:15:04

I did enjoy reading this book but I did think the modern day story was quite predictable. Having said that it was an enjoyable read and I will pass it on for others to enjoy.

ReneDWilliams Mon 15-Sep-14 15:02:48

I enjoy Isabel Wolff's books and thought Ghostwritten was very good. Klara's story was heart-wrenching. Jenni was also a prisoner of her own past. Very compelling story.

cather Tue 16-Sep-14 12:56:55

I received this book a while ago but have only just found time to finish it, so sorry for the delay.
This is the first Isabel Wolff book I have read and I really enjoyed it. I like reading stories about the war and whilst it took a while to get going once I got into it I couldn't put it down. I found the book very emotional and the story was so well written, I could really picture the story all the way through. I will be looking out for more of Isabel's books to read.

loumom Fri 26-Sep-14 17:36:26

This book was beautiful and so sad - reminded me all over again of how absolutely awful the war was. I really enjoyed it and found it an easy and lovely read.

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