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Can you think of some books in which...

(10 Posts)
MacaroonMama Wed 02-Oct-19 14:46:17

...the same character narrates the whole book, but in two distinct timeframes - there are past and present events, with a clear distance between the two? Preferably with one of the narrators being a teenager?

I suppose Brideshead Revisited would be one. Is I Capture the Castle? No, maybe not.

Anyway, I am trying to do this in my writing and wanted to read some good examples, so I can spot what works!

My original thread is here, thanks to those who advised me smile

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/creative_writing/3613652-Structural-help-needed-please

AppropriateAdult Wed 02-Oct-19 17:50:02

My work-in-progress is on the same lines, OP - a present-day timeline with alternate chapters detailing events from earlier in the MC’s life. Curtis Sittenfeld’s Sisterland has a similar structure, I think; also Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon. Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers?

MacaroonMama Wed 02-Oct-19 18:51:08

Oh thank you so much, I have not read any of these! Those are really helpful suggestions.

How are you finding flitting between tue two? Are you alternating chapters? Best of luck!

AppropriateAdult Wed 02-Oct-19 19:08:18

Yes, my chapters are strictly alternating; the present day narrative covers a year, and then the second narrative goes backwards, depicting key episodes in the character’s life back to childhood. I’m hoping it all makes sense in the end!

BothALarkAndAnOwl Wed 02-Oct-19 19:26:24

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller. Dual narrative structure that switches between 8 yo Peggy, taken to live in the woods by her survivalist father, and 17 yo Peggy, trying to readjust to life afterwards.

Evennow Wed 02-Oct-19 19:28:49

The Go Between by L P Hartley. An elderly man looks back at traumatic events during his childhood

Loveislandaddict Wed 02-Oct-19 19:37:22

One Day in December - by Josie Silver

This story is seen through the lives of the two main characters (and is a good read)

Howtotrainyourhamster Wed 02-Oct-19 22:09:19

The Girls by Emma Cline does this I think - a while since I read it. I think there is more from the teenage aspect than the older character voice but it does have this structure.

MacaroonMama Wed 02-Oct-19 23:11:46

Fab! Thanks so much! It will be really interesting to compare differences and similarities between these books. Really helpful. Love the hive mind!

MacaroonMama Wed 09-Oct-19 13:48:54

Does anyone know if any of Rachel Cusk's fiction would fall into this bracket? Or even her non-fiction? I keep meaning to read her anyway.

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