Advanced search

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

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.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »