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Bilgewater By Jane Gardam,

  • Title: Bilgewater
  • Author: Jane Gardam
  • ISBN: 9780349114026
  • Page: 116
  • Format: Paperback
  • Originally published in 1977, Jane Gardam s Bilgewater is an affectionate and complex rendering in miniature of the discomforts of growing up and first love seen through the eyes of inimitable Marigold Green, an awkward, eccentric, highly intelligent girl The Evening Standard described Bilgewater as one of the funniest, most entertaining, most unusual stories about youngOriginally published in 1977, Jane Gardam s Bilgewater is an affectionate and complex rendering in miniature of the discomforts of growing up and first love seen through the eyes of inimitable Marigold Green, an awkward, eccentric, highly intelligent girl The Evening Standard described Bilgewater as one of the funniest, most entertaining, most unusual stories about young love Motherless and 16, Marigold is the headmaster s daughter at a private backwater all boys school To make matters worse, Marigold pines for head boy Jack Rose, reckons with the beautiful and domineering Grace, and yanks herself headlong out of her interior world and into the seething cauldron of adolescence With everything happening all at once, Marigold faces the greatest of teenage crucibles A smart and painterly romp in the rich tradition of The Hollow Land and A Long Way From Verona, Gardam s elegant, evocative prose, possessed of sharp irony and easy surrealism makes Bilgewater a book for readers of all ages.
    Bilgewater Originally published in Jane Gardam s Bilgewater is an affectionate and complex rendering in miniature of the discomforts of growing up and first love seen through the eyes of inimitable Marigol

    One thought on “Bilgewater”

    1. Another book I would not classify as belonging to the young adult genre Sure, teenagers can read this but so can adults Should one classify all books about young adults as YA books My answer is no Further, in this book the focus is not merely on the young ones but the adults too Three central components of all novels are 1 The language, the dialog, the words used.2 The story told, i.e the plot.3 How all the different parts are drawn together, the novel s construction.In this book it is the langu [...]

    2. This is my 6th or 7th Jane Gardam book, and she just never disappoints me Engaging characters, lots of dry humor, well told, surprising plots, everything I need to settle into a great reading experience This is only her 2nd book, written in 1976, and while some of her later work is sophisticated and polished, this one took me back to what s it s like to be a confused, sheltered teen ager trying to make sense of life Of course, that s impossible without first being used by girlfriends, embarrass [...]

    3. I swear that Jane Gardam could write the instructions for using computer software and it would be the most entertaining reading of the year Working, instead, with the daughter of a widower who is headmaster at a backwater private school for boys, Gardam creates a painful, funny, and nuanced portrait of a girl who comes of age without a single female friend and succeeds, although in the process she lives through what would otherwise be the making a blooper reel of every dance, date, and prospecti [...]

    4. I would have read this in one go but I had to repeatedly stop because I was laughing so hard Right from the start, that bit about the teacher who cannot face forward, and later the bit where Bilge finds she s walked right through the house these things will never leave me Gardam has a way of making me know what something must look like without actually describing it.I also loved the Cinderella set up I grew up watching Star Wars my name s Luke, so you can see what my parents had just seen, back [...]

    5. Beautifully observed, full of the angst of adolescence, falling in love with the wrong boy and being dazzled by the apparent glamour of a rather fickle friend Originally written for teenagers, but later reclassified as an adult novel, Jane Gardam s book is so funny, sad and wise that I am sure it could be enjoyed by readers of any age group from mid teens on.

    6. One of my failings as a writer is that I begin a book with attention to the author s descriptive details, her dialog, her scenes from beginning to end and I brush the edge of learning but then I lose my critiquing way I started Bilgewater with much admiration for all of these writerly skills and then became involved in the story such that I never took note again Every time I put the book down, I couldn t wait to pick it up again All of my fondness for English life in novels resurfaced and I was [...]

    7. The first Gardam I read was Old Filth, and I said to myself, She really gets older people Then I read the other two books in the trilogy, which continued with many of the same characters, wonderfully.Next, I tried The Hollow Land, which has children as main characters, and I said to myself, She doesn t only get older people She also gets kids Likewise Bilgewater This is a sensitive portrayal of a kid who s a misfit all around She s brought herself up, largely, with no real friends, only the boys [...]

    8. Dedication for WP V A x 47 1918 1965Opening My mother died when I was born which makes me sound princess like and rather quaint.An unexpected present, and very welcome it is too Thank you.Even though I have countless books on the go this one was beckoning I thought I d just read the first page or so to get a feel for the writing and the characters, and well, you knowA lovely ugly duckling story of young love and against the odds academic success Thank you once again Overbylass for giving me the [...]

    9. I was likely unable to fully appreciate this book due to my confusion about much of the British slang and references I am also the kind of person who gets distracted by typos errors in texts and this one had tons In addition, I could not quite believe the arc of many of the characters temperaments and choices I feel like the book could have been significantly longer to fill in missing details that would have helped me truly understand Gardam s intention with some of the characters All of that as [...]

    10. The least interesting book of one of the best writers I know That said, Gardam is a master, and I grudgingly found myself enjoying this madcap ugly duckling tale despite its quirks and its tut tut cheerio OTT characters Feels as if she was going for Lucky Jim and ended up instead with Fawlty Towers But cornball, meandering plot aside, I am awfully glad to see anything reissued by this talented author.

    11. Certainly not Gardam s best, but then again, it was written almost forty years ago Much of the brilliance of her later works can be seen here She has an eye for social nuances and the various types of folk who live in England Her wit is certainly already well formed.The coming of age aspect of the story has real charm, and the book is a fun read But the plot is silly, almost a Feydeau farce, with characters intersecting in odd and unlikely ways Many of Bilgie s choices make no sense, and while I [...]

    12. 4.5 really It would have been a 5 if it hadn t turned into a farce towards the end Jane Gardam is marvellous at evoking memories of the discomfort and confusion of growing up It s not for those who were prom queen or voted most popular or who were captain of the hockey team or head girl It s for those of us who identify with Janis Ian s song Seventeen Marigold Green is completely uncomfortable with her own self when we first meet her Through time, she comes to realise that she maybe does have so [...]

    13. This is a wonderful book that shows the truth of adolescence gawky, uncertain, and full of rapid emotional hairpin turns, even as it takes place in slightly surreal circumstances Marigold Green nicknamed Bilgewater is the daughter of a widowed headmaster at an English boarding school in the 60s She s surrounded by barely functional academics, whose other worldliness leaves her woefully unprepared to be an teenaged girl And yet, she finds her way through, finds herself and eventually triumphs Alt [...]

    14. Gardam superior fare A little unrequited love, a lot of quirkiness, and the usual intriguing plot and exquisite language Gal gets the right guy or did she Note to the eds publishers if this edition you know those beds the fakirs sleep on The ones with the nails I prescribe for you 40 nights on one of those it will do you good The amount of spelling errors typos, fine was super annoying You didn t even run this thing through spellcheck If I were Jane s agent I d get my client s royalties doubled. [...]

    15. Loved this engaging ugly duckling story set in a British boarding school and yet myhackles rose a bit at the class consciousness that underlies the whole thing Being Oxbridgematerial fine Being a gent ditto Being a dotty professor charming Being a Dorsetshire nanny quite all right But being the son of two alcoholic dentists Gah.

    16. Rompish and smart and very digestive biscuits and third form Oxbridge hilarious until it all falls apart in a Fawlty Towers kind of way towards the end but you have to forgive it because if you like mucking about among terribly smart chaps who are aces at rugger, this is forgive me just your cup of tea until then, plus who doesn t love a tidy ending, which is where it eventually lands.

    17. Just got this book back from a friend While I don t recall many details, I do remember liking the main character quite a lot a motherless girl circa 16 years, struggling to fit into her own skin.

    18. This was a re read as I love Jane Gardam An awkward girl living in a boys school where her father is a housemaster grows up.

    19. Bilgewater is a coming of age story starring a delightful protagonist, Marigold Daisy Green AKA Bilge Bilgewater She was given the unflattering nickname by cruel boys at the private boarding school in Northern England where her father, William the Silent works.Bilge s is 16 years old and sees herself as odd, large and plain She has frizzy hair and wears glasses, which the mean spirited boys use against her She doesn t have any friends, it s just her and her eccentric father ever since her mother [...]

    20. This book was recommended to me by my colleague and I m glad she did I ve never read any of Gardam s work but she writes with such ease that the writing just oozes off the page like a conversation A gem of a book and a lovely story There are days that you remember as perfect and which in fact were nothing of the kind They grow better with the telling and beloved with the years.

    21. Another cute, quirky read by the lovely Jane Gardam First off, can I say how much I love, love the Europa editions I love the feel of them in my hands and the matte paper finish they use for the covers I can t get enough of I wish every paperback was printed like this Took me awhile to get into this one about an ugly duckling, nerdy girl who lives with her father who is a teacher at a boy s private school She s known as Bill s daughter which I guess if you say it quick sounds like Bilgewater as [...]

    22. I looked for this book after hearing it discussed in a BBC Podcast, and I am so glad I did It is a lovely story of a young girl brought up in an almost exclusively male home environment, at a time in her life when she is changing from a child to a young adult She has no feminine grace, no idea of how to behave or dress, and at school is seen as odd and sometimes stupid One of the reasons this gentle story appeals to me is that I recognise elements of my own life insecurities, lack of cool friend [...]

    23. An endearing coming of age story about Marigold Green Bilgewater set in a seaside town in North Yorkshire in the 1970 s.The world in which the story is set feels almost historical, being written over 30 years ago, and the characters appear almost naive in their inability to understand emotions indeed, this may be because Marigold s mother died in childbirth and Marigold may be autistic, having a great mathematical mind, although she does not know how she does it.This is my second reading and, al [...]

    24. What a shitty site has become How disappointing after such a promising beginning This book is here only until I can switch everything away But where to Is Leafmarks really going to be any better Faint hope Jane varda is a good writer She takes the minutia of life and makes it a prominent element of the story Bilgewater is a girl caught up in the minutia because that is her world, insular, small, narrow, unexplored by circumstances of her upbringing And Gardam brings it that world to life, with a [...]

    25. This was just lovely The wild eccentricity of most of the characters, with as Hirondelle said, a surreal edge, could have made for incredibly uncomfortable reading But the book seemed to me to steer a very nicely balanced path between sentimentality which was always avoided and the kind of harsh humour that makes you feel kind of guilty for laughing which was also avoided I can t think of that many books that manage to do this, though I suppose I can t think of many books even remotely like Bilg [...]

    26. Poor old Bilgie She lives at a boys school with her father and everyone thinks she s a bit mad But this excellently erudite character has all sorts of hidden depths to her, as well as a wonderful judgemental eye It s a great coming of age story a genre I find hard to resist, when well written , and one I ll definitely be recommending to friends Sure, it has a real late sixties feel to it, but that only adds to the overall interesting vibe of this tale

    27. I loved the character quirky Marigold a.k.a Bilgewater Humor all through and she reminded me to reread Wordworth and take on Tess D Ubervilles, which I ve been meaning to do anyway Written simply, but full of insight and crazy suspense I would have given it four stars, but the ending no spoiler alert pivoted around a character so minor that I felt ripped off Yet I was enriched Wish I could find contemporary books as worthy of a reader s time and intellect.

    28. I am clearly missing something here because the majority of the reviews for this book are really positive.Quaint, quirky and eccentric Sorry, all I got was stylistically irritating prose about an utterly alienating cast of one dimensional characters.It all felt a bit like those times I have had the misfortune of hearing Sarah Kennedy on the radio talking about her utterly unrelatable lifestyle Lovely I imagine, if you like that sort of thing Not for me.

    29. This book is just too lovely It is what many YA novels are, predictable, dramatic and self indulgent It has those lovely moments that make you earnestly nostalgic for a time you never live in, for things you never have in your life, necessarily And it is also what many YA novels can t be or fail to be, beautifully constructed, brilliantly written with a terrific sense of humor.

    30. Jane Gardam is such a good writer I m glad they re issued this novel from 1976 Although there are quite a few spelling mistakes The character Bilgewater is priceless she is a teenage girl in England but I thought that I knew her It s a very funny book but also full of emotion of lost and found loves.

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