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My Beautiful England by Michelle Flatley - apply for free copy and post your feedback - CLOSED

(45 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 12-Sep-13 12:29:36

This week we have 50 copies of Michelle Flatley's debut novel, My Beautiful England to give away.

In a deprived town in Lancashire three women from very different backgrounds are thrown together at a local language school, united by their search for a new identity and desire to interact with others. My Beautiful England highlights the human stories behind the bigger picture of immigration in the UK and is a beautifully written and thought provoking debut. If you would like to read and review, apply for one of fifty free copies.

Bumpstarter Thu 26-Sep-13 00:23:19

Looking forward to hearing your reviews about this one!

minsmum Fri 27-Sep-13 10:05:52

This arrived in the post this morning, talk about good timing, I am on holiday tomorrow. I won't be able to post my review for a couple of weeks. Thank you

ummlilia Fri 27-Sep-13 10:50:24

ooh,just got the e-mail,thanks a lot, looking forward to this smile

TippyHaha Fri 27-Sep-13 11:59:58

Just received my copy as well, thank you. Looking forward to reading it and the ensuing discussion but, like minsmum, I'm on holiday from tomorrow so will be a couple of weeks with my review.

HorseyGirl1 Fri 27-Sep-13 12:28:06

I'm temping at the moment and the job is REALLY REALLY quiet. I so need a good book to read and I can't wait to read this one. Thanks very much for this.

tinypumpkin Fri 27-Sep-13 12:50:44

Read the first chapter last night and it was good. I am looking forward to reading the rest smile Thanks MN.

AugustRose Fri 27-Sep-13 13:47:59

Ooh thank you mine just arrived, can't wait to start on it.

FernieB Fri 27-Sep-13 18:36:43

Mine arrived this morning and as it was a lovely day I took it and my lunch into the garden for half an hour. Four hours later I'd finished it. I got completely lost in it and neglected everything else I was supposed to do. Loved all the women especially Su and Lenka who were haunted by their past. It had a good pace to it and drew me in. Hard to believe this is a first novel. It was very well written and I could clearly see all the characters. Can't wait to read more from Michelle Flatley.

FernieB Fri 27-Sep-13 18:37:54

Forgot to say - thank you for the book. It was a lovely surprise grin

johnworf Tue 01-Oct-13 09:32:16

Started mine last night and couldn't put it down (until I noticed it was midnight blush) But 7 chapters in and I'm gripped. Poor Su who has left Thailand for a better life but ends up in Burnley with a man who is hardly an improvement on her old life.

Can't wait to get stuck into it again later. smile

tinypumpkin Tue 01-Oct-13 09:55:03

I finished this quickly (another midnight reader). I really liked it, more so than I thought I would.


I did find the end part a little hard to believe though. It seemed to me that it did not fit with the remainder of the novel (e.g. Su and David) and also Lenka's husband's sudden transformation.

Overall I did really enjoy it though and it made me think, that can never be a bad thing.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 01-Oct-13 12:32:47

HAd to flick through so as not to read the spoiler. Read the first few chapters so far. Looking forward to seeing how the other characters stories fit in with Su's

violetwellies Tue 01-Oct-13 19:51:54

Pumpkin, I thought Lenka ended up with David? confused

I so loved this book and am looking forward to her next one, totally gripping. I did feel that the sex scene was a bit odd, and did not fit in with the rest of the book, but otherwise a gripping, thought provoking read.

I have been wondering about the numbers of women who have suffered trauma in their countries of origin, and who may in fact suffer further once they arrive as brides in the UK. Trapped in abusive relationships as they are dependent on the marriage for the visa, or frightened of upsetting their families.

tinypumpkin Tue 01-Oct-13 20:52:26

Sorry Violet, I was posting in a bit of a hurry. I meant the sex scene. You are right about Lenka ending up with David.

It was indeed thought provoking, I take so much freedom for granted.

AugustRose Thu 03-Oct-13 13:26:15

I loved this book and was drawn in by the characters from the first few pages. I thought warmth and friendship of the 3 women was brilliantly written, that they could come from 3 different places, cultures and ages and still become such good friends yet struggle with the English people around them was so telling of how we deal with immigration as a nation.

I too was a bit suprised by the scene with Su and David, it didn't quite fit with the rest of the story and the endings seemed a little rushed. Sammy's tale was so sad, to come to England expecting freedom but still remain trapped by family and culture.

I met two lovely Polish ladies when I was pregnant with my third baby and they were having their first. I have always admired their determination to make good lives for themselves and daughters even when faced with racism and prejudice. Both are very hard workers and speak better English than many of the 'I don't see why I should have to work' young girls who live in my local town.

There may be a few Burnely locals who are not entirely happy with Michelle's depiction of their town, even if it is written from experience!

sweetkat31 Fri 04-Oct-13 14:27:20

I have thouroughly enjoyed reading this book, the book is very well written and the characters are likeable. Also the differences in cultures are very well researched. The storyline is gripping and I couldn't put it down. Thankyou for sending me the book to read and I can't wait for the next one!

penguinpaperback Sat 05-Oct-13 00:13:32

I enjoyed this book too. And I read it in two installments. Like others here it was a thought provoking book. I live in a sleepy part of the UK and have never been to Burnley but because of this I don't (think) I had many preconceptions. I now feel I have learnt a little from this book, thank you Michelle, how daunting and lonely it must feel, just doing everyday things, buying a mango from the market. I don't usually read books set in the here and now. I'd just finished a Georgette Heyer before starting this. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. Thank you Michelle, I hope this is just the first of many novels to come and thank you mumsnet.

johnworf Sat 05-Oct-13 14:20:05

Have a few chapters to go but enjoying this book immensely. smile

MereMortal Sat 05-Oct-13 16:14:49

I loved this book and will certainly be looking out for further books by Michelle Flatley. I found that story flowed easily along covering the past and the present of the three women. I was immersed in their lives right from the first page.

I was a little disappointed with the ending. Like others I found the sex scene slightly jarring. I feel that things were maybe tied up too neatly in the end. But, as it's fiction I suppose you can let some of the characters have a happy ever after.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 05-Oct-13 20:51:28

I found it very moving. I had a bad feeling about Sammy early on

I thought the characters were very real with good & bad in them. It would have been do easy for characters like Suriya fir example to be made out to be evil stepmother type cliches. The insight into her thoughts showed she did care, it's just her whole belief set is totally different.

Agree with the sex scene, very odd. And Su didn't act like a 40 odd year old

I felt the ending was a bit rushed.

johnworf Sun 06-Oct-13 20:28:35

Finally finished it. I had a little tear in my eye at the end sad

I also had a feeling about Sammy that it wouldn't end well for her. I was glad that Su and Lenka had better outcomes.

Really enjoyed reading this book though. smile

RememberYoureAWomble Mon 07-Oct-13 11:46:30

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - it was a quick and easy read, while also being interesting, thought-provoking and moving. I look forward to more from Michelle Flatley.

mindingalongtime Mon 07-Oct-13 14:27:29

I liked the book, but didn't really like the style of writing. No sentence was more than about 6 words maximum, so I found it a bit staccato, maybe that was intentional as that is how English comes across when spoken by Thai, Philipina people ( generalising of course).

Thank you for the book

over40andmumtoone Mon 07-Oct-13 18:08:35

I'm about half way in to this book, I am loving it, have purposely not read any of the threads above mine - will come back for a read once I've finished the book smile

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