THE ESSENCE OF THE THING Paperback – 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
While this novel is the story of a relationship breakup, it has some very humorous aspects. The breakup of a relationship does not just affect the couple involved, it has an impact on friends and family as well. The friends (mostly couples) and parents of Jonathan and Nicola are each ready to offer their opinions.
'Let's say he's a prat. But he's the prat I love.' She paused. 'Actually, I've never been absolutely sure what prat means, exactly.’
Much of the story unfolds via conversation, with each chapter offering a different point of view. This enables us to appreciate the differing perspectives and, importantly, to see how Nicola and Jonathan react. It may have been Jonathan’s choice to end the relationship, but it soon becomes clear that Nicola is more able than Jonathan to move on. Has Jonathan made the right decision? Does he really want Nicola to move out of his life?
‘Too bad about the marmalade. The balance between bitter and sweet was the essence of the thing.’
In this short novel, Ms St John managed to dissect a particular relationship in order to demonstrate its numerous and various components. Control may start with Jonathan, but it certainly doesn’t stay with him.Read more ›
Madeleine St. John uses realistic and often witty dialogue between peripheral characters to demonstrate how the break up of two people can have an effect on almost everyone they know. Although she writes with a light touch, she explores the relationship dynamics between four other couples while giving play to the fragility of any love relationship. The Essence of the Thing is a quick and entertaining read, but it could not be described as shallow by any stretch of the imagination.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm sure that whoever reads the book will want to encounter Ms. St John in person. She's great in depicting character's psychology - so much as we think it's our best friend(s)... Read morePublished on April 30 2002 by Portofino
The Essence of the Thing captured the modern relationship between a man and a woman. It explored what happened as the relationship disintegrated, leaving one partner in shocked... Read morePublished on Dec 26 1999 by Sarah
The book sets out to be impressive but along the way it somehow disappoints. The plot seems to drag on endlessly with the characters continously sulking and mulling over their... Read morePublished on Dec 4 1999 by Nur Aini
I think it's a good book but not 2 gr8 cuz it's sometimes confusing....I mean, the story with all those conversations and stuff are just confusing. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 1999
I usually wouldn't write but felt compelled to say that this book is awful. Definately not serious literature - must have been a very weak year in the Commonwealth!Published on May 19 1999
I was extremely disappointed with this novel, especially after reading all the good reviews it received here. Read morePublished on May 19 1999
In this novel of love lost, St. John provides a realistic portrait of a woman unceremoniously dumped. Read morePublished on May 18 1999 by Mary Lins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The story had no plot at all. A very simple story told in even simpler way! I was not very impressed. Read morePublished on Dec 1 1998 by A. Vinayak