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Bodies of Light By Sarah Moss,

  • Title: Bodies of Light
  • Author: Sarah Moss
  • ISBN: 9781847089090
  • Page: 161
  • Format: Paperback
  • Bodies of Light is a deeply poignant tale of a psychologically tumultuous nineteenth century upbringing set in the atmospheric world of Pre Raphaelitism and the early suffrage movement Ally older sister of May in Night Waking , is intelligent, studious and engaged in an eternal and losing battle to gain her mother s approval and affection Her mother, Elizabeth, is aBodies of Light is a deeply poignant tale of a psychologically tumultuous nineteenth century upbringing set in the atmospheric world of Pre Raphaelitism and the early suffrage movement Ally older sister of May in Night Waking , is intelligent, studious and engaged in an eternal and losing battle to gain her mother s approval and affection Her mother, Elizabeth, is a religious zealot, keener on feeding the poor and saving prostitutes than on embracing the challenges of motherhood Even when Ally wins a scholarship and is accepted as one of the first female students to read medicine in London, it still doesn t seem good enough The first in a two book sequence, Bodies of Light will propel Sarah Moss into the upper echelons of British novelists It is a triumphant piece of historical fiction and a profoundly moving master class in characterisation.
    Bodies of Light Bodies of Light is a deeply poignant tale of a psychologically tumultuous nineteenth century upbringing set in the atmospheric world of Pre Raphaelitism and the early suffrage movement Ally older sist

    One thought on “Bodies of Light”

    1. There was a character in this novel who sucked all the drive and energy out of the narrative We first see her as a virgin bride, about to marry a painter Then as a new mother She s depressed, can t cope with motherhood and fears all sharp objects because she doesn t trust herself not to harm her baby She greatly interested me as a character, the prose was fabulous and I was sure I was going to love this novel However it then jumps forward in time and the focus is now on the daughter The mother h [...]

    2. Terrific historical fiction reminiscent of A.S Byatt and The Essex Serpent I d previously only read contemporary set novels by Moss, but her recurrent themes of vocation, childrearing and medical crisis are just as convincing when placed in the 1850s 70s.Alethea Moberley is among the first female doctors to qualify in London, driven by a desperate wish to please her demanding, do gooding mother The descriptions of anxiety disorder what would in that time have generally been dismissed as female h [...]

    3. This is the third novel by Sarah Moss, following her debut, Cold Earth, and Night Waking It is linked, loosely, to Night Waking, in that May Moberley features as a character in the historical aspect of that novel and is the sister of the main character in Bodies of Light However, this is not a sequel, or indeed really a prequel, and it is not necessary to have read the wonderful Night Waking, before reading this apart from the fact that you will have missed a wonderful read However, the joy of d [...]

    4. This is a book I was reading as part of the WellcomeBookPrize project I am doing with Elena, but I found I just couldn t get into the writing style of this at all and I really didn t enjoy what had happened in the first 15% or so it was quite tedious and dull so I decided to DNF this sadly.

    5. This superb novel is set in Victorian Manchester, and is centered on Alethea Ally Moberley, the first child of Alfred, a successful but eccentric painter and interior designer, and Elizabeth, a devoutly religious and strict Quaker who is completely invested in the well being of poor women within and outside of England, and to ensuring that Ally and her sister May stay on a very narrow and righteous path and devote their lives to the downtrodden In the 1860s and 1870s women were only just beginni [...]

    6. I m not sure why I didn t enjoy this Perhaps it was the right book at the wrong time That being said I did still enjoy this It was a fast read, especially for historical fiction The time period was subtly and believably captured I loved all the discussions on women s rights, prostitution, poverty, insane asylums and the beginning of formally trained women doctors in England That was my favorite part of the novel But I didn t find the characters or plot to be compelling or even very memorable Ho [...]

    7. After dabbling with the past in Night Waking, Sarah Moss went full on historical with her third novel Bodies of Light There is a connection though, as it includes May Moberley a character that was involved in the historical aspect of Night Waking.The focus though is principally on older sister Ally and her life in mid Victorian Manchester Although, the novel s spotlight actually falls initially on Ally s mother Elizabeth as she meets and marries fictional artist and designer Alfred Moberley, who [...]

    8. Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss is a historical novel set in 19th century Manchester As we follow the growing up years of the main character, Alethea Ally Moberly, until she earns her medical degree, we learn about the social and legal plights of women during the early suffrage movement in Britain We also become acutely aware of the truly terrifying male attitudes towards women, particularly those held by the all male medical establishment who were spectacularly ignorant of the female body.The nov [...]

    9. I really struggled with this.The subject matter and era greatly interests me but I found it slow and the writing dripping with a sensuality that often seemed inappropriate I wasn t enamoured with the characters either, most of which seemed one dimensional and too predictable.

    10. Sarah Moss is a very talented writer, but this very nearly defeated me The descriptions of child abuse by the religious mother are cold, stomach turning trauma I m glad I soldiered on though, as Ally is such a resonant character.

    11. So, I had a hard time rating this book, but I think it does deserve 4 stars Maybe 3,5.This was not an easy read, but ofcourse it Doesn t have to be I enjoyed it, I liked the characters most of them, not Elizabeth , and I love the victorian setting But most of all, and I m gonna sound really pretentious saying this, I feel as if this book has really educated me.It learned me so much About feminism in the historical context and I really learned a lot There were things that I kind of knew before, l [...]

    12. I enjoyed this novel thoroughly from start to finish There is a poignant honesty to this story that at times left me with a lump in my throat, contemplating for ages about the ideas explored and the themes raised by Sarah Moss I was so pleased to discover a sequel just published, as I felt nearing the end that I needed to slow down in order to savour the rest, as I was not yet ready to leave Ally This is historical fiction of the most highest quality and I feel enlightened by having read this in [...]

    13. This book was different than I expected and unfortunately not in the best way Overall this was a good book and a mostly enjoyable read, but it just wasn t what I hoped it would be I know that, that isn t this books fault, but my own.The writing style used in this book sometimes confused me, as did the storyline For me it jumped around within and between scenes to fast and without warning Therefore, it took me a while to get into this book After I got used to it the reading went easier and the bo [...]

    14. Not quite it was ok in many ways, this is a brilliant book And perhaps the feeling of suffocation it brought was intended but as a reading experience, it was dreadful and I had to convince myself to keep reading I somehow did, because it had so many themes I m interested in history of women s suffrage and medicine , but it was not a pleasant read To the point where I can t recall much else than the overwhelming sadness and zealotry.

    15. I loved this book Beautiful, evocative writing, great characters that seemed to spring fully formed from the page and covered a lot of ground in terms of the issues it addressed such as women s suffrage, art, mental health etc I loved the two sisters, but could have cheerfully throttled their repressive mother I understand there is a sequel to this novel, so I will definitely be adding that to my Want To Read list.

    16. Sublimely written, covering topics that are of a great personal interest and left me wanting much much Will definitely be reading from Sarah Moss.

    17. Maybe I need to give this book another chance but it ended up boring me And the mother character was just so incredibly awful to her daughter it was almost impossible to believe.

    18. Bodies of Light is the fictional story of Alethea Ally Moberley, daughter of Alfred, a Manchester pre Raphaelite artist, and Elizabeth, a suffragette and campaigner for women s rights, and Ally s achievement in becoming one of the first women to qualify as a doctor in Britain It encompasses religion, poverty, feminism, medicine, women s education and Victorian art and design quite an achievement for a single novel It is clearly well researched and the level of detail is fascinating and, in some [...]

    19. What a stiff book Stiff characters, stiff language, stiff love story There is no emotion, just an arid description of the daily life of a very strange Victorian family.Alfred Moberley is an interior designer and painter married to Elizabeth, a moral fanatic who cares about strangers than her own family The father is quite distant and doesn t interfere with the hard upbringing of his two daughters, who suffer quite a lot at the hands of Elizabeth, who thinks the best way to teach self control is [...]

    20. A tricky one to review really it s a 3.5 I admired greatly the subject matter and the complexity of the characters relationships to the gender, identity, family relationship, reason and morality And the structure of having a painting described at the opening of each chapter and the eventual reveal of the circumstances of its creation was a neat one which created a thread throughout the narrative time jumps However the passivity of the main character was for me midly irratating although part of h [...]

    21. After having a good but mostly forgettable experience with Night Waking, I wasn t prepared to be blown away by this book Moss s touch is deft and light as a feather, and she effortlessly balances Victorian and contemporary writing styles I rarely think a book is too short, but this one flew by and left me wanting While I read, I found myself thinking over and over again, This is such an achievement If you have even the slightest interest in the 19th century or fraught family dynamics, read this [...]

    22. The review quote on the front cover claims this book to be wise and tender My overriding emotion throughout was a sort of horror at the way Ally was treated, all in the name of improvement and duty, but with a dereliction of genuine love The structure beginning each chapter with a description of a work of art one I thoroughly appreciated and the writing lovely as ever, gentle and unassuming but creating a memorable whole.

    23. Really fascinating and well written story of the development of women s emancipation written through the people in one family, each chapter introduced with a description of a painting No one is wholly sympathetic, all are damaged in one way or another but it ends on a note of tentative optimism very touching and hopeful.

    24. A compelling tale.Fascinating setting overall The birth of women s suffrage and women in medical science, seen through the eyes of Ally, whose own upbringing is bleak and ruled by an over demanding mother obsessed with the wellbeing of Manchester s poor.My only disappointment was the trail off ending and the slightly disjointed timeline Not 100% satisfying, but still a good read.

    25. I had not read, or even known of this author until linked to the next book in this series by a fellow Good Reads friend And wow What a stunning writer, with an important corner of history to explore Beautiful, poetic sketches make up layers of the characters we meet here The result is arresting Don t miss.

    26. Set in Victorian Manchester, the novel follows the upbringing of Ally, daughter of an up and coming artist and a stern and harsh but do good mother, as she attempts to navigate the emerging world of academia and medicine as one of England s first female students Earlier on this year, I read Sex and Punishment Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire by Eric Berkowitz, and I was really interested in the section on the Contagious Diseases Act in the nineteenth century This Act was engineered to reduc [...]

    27. This book was very disappointing The mother is unbearable and cruel to her daughters It s unclear why painter and interior designer Alfred Moberley married her to begin with They have nothing in common and he essentially lives a separate life from his family when his two daughters are very young I would have liked about the art world, but all we get is a description of a painting by Alfred or his strange and possibly pederastic friend Aubrey at the start of each chapter If the mother is a stick [...]

    28. This review and on my blog bookdrblog.wordpressI loved this book, really loved it, so much in fact that I have already looked up the author on and either bought or added all of her other books to my wish list.The book covers than twenty years of time It starts when the main character s parents have just got married and ends when she is a young adult herself Early on, time skips forward quite a bit, one minute Ally the main character is a newborn, the next she s nine years old Despite this it i [...]

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