My Review ~ Spoiler Free
Today I have my review of The Joyce Girl By Annabel Abbs. The book is beautifully written. It’s very enjoyable to read and it flows easily. Actors say when they make movie biographies and they spend so long learning about the character they play that they get a special unique experience. If that’s the case then I hope it goes for writers too. Because I truly want to believe that the spirit of Lucia Joyce, was with Annabel Abbs as she wrote The Joyce Girl. Looking on with pride and love for Annabel’s wonderful work.
Normally, I start my book and I try to read as much as I can over two or three sittings. As I began the book I realised my normal reading practice of forming the characters in my head would not work. As Lucia and her family were real people. So I googled for some photos, then I found a voice recording of James Joyce and so I had it in my head. This is not necessary for the enjoyment of the book. It was just a person thing of mine.
The book takes us through the avant-garde Paris to London and Zurich. I have been to Paris and it is a City with a heartbeat of culture and love. It is captured exquisitely in the book.
As I turned each page, I grew more and more in love with Lucia Joyce and her passion for dance and love. The characters and their journey are brought to life. Her unusual family lifestyle and living in the shadows of Mr James Joyce.
The book would have taken a lot of research and you can tell it was written with care and attention to details. It covers an array of many topics. With so many strong characters.
This is a must read, even if your TBR pile is so high. After finishing the book I wanted to learn much more about Miss Joyce. Lucky there are some wonderful links on Annabel Abb’s website.
The Cover & Description
The Joyce Girl tells the fictionalised story of Lucia Joyce’s affair with a young Samuel Beckett and then a young Alexander Calder. The only daughter of Irish author, James Joyce, and Nora Barnacle, Lucia aspired to be a modern dancer. Talented and ambitious, she trained with many of the most famous dancers of her time. The novel switches between past and present as Lucia retells her story to the pioneering psychoanalyst, Doctor Carl Jung, who she was sent to by her father to take the ‘talking cure.’
A story of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father, The Joyce Girl is a true story but imagined where facts were unavailable.
Described by the author, Emma Darwin, as “a gripping and little-known story at the heart of one of the twentieth century’s most astonishing creative moments…researched deeply and brought to richly-imagined life.”
Profits from the first year UK royalties go to YoungMinds in memory of Lucia Joyce, who spent most of her life in an asylum.
About Annabel Abb’s
Annabel Abbs grew up in Wales and Sussex, with stints in Dorset, Bristol and Hereford. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia and a Masters in Marketing from the University of Kingston. After fifteen years running a consultancy, she took a career break to bring up her four children, before returning to her first love, literature.
Her debut novel, The Joyce Girl, won the 2015 Impress Prize for New Writing and the 2015 Spotlight First Novel Award, and was longlisted for the 2015 Caledonia Novel Award and the 2015 Bath Novel Award. Her short stories and journalism have appeared in various places including Mslexia, The Guardian, The Irish Times, Weekend Australian Review, Elle, The Author, The Daily Telegraph, Psychologies and the Huffington Post. She has been profiled in Writing Magazine, Sussex Life, Next NZ, Litro and Female First, Her blog, www.kaleandcocoa.com, featured in the Daily Telegraph in August 2015 and May 2016. She lives in London and Sussex with her family and an old labrador.
Win L’Occitane Goodies & Signed Book
In memory of Lucia Joyce’s love of France, Annabel Abbs donated a prize of L’Occitane goodies & a signed copy of the book. HUGE thanks for these lovely prizes Annabel Abbs.
Miss Lucia Joyce
One of the last photographs taken of Lucia Joyce (Source: http://www.annabelabbs.com/blog/ ) she died on the 12th December 1982, aged 75.
My heart is now etched with never ending compassion and love for Lucia Joyce. Thank you so much, Annabel Abbs. I don’t think I would have gotten to know her if it hadn’t been for you. Much Love, Kelly xx