The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale
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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year | An O Magazine Best Book of the Year

The New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy delivers another “luminous, unforgettable, and perfectly rendered” (Dennis Lehane) novel—a poignant and probing psychological drama that follows the lives of three siblings in the wake of a violent crime.

One September afternoon in 1999, teenagers Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan Lang are walking home from school when they discover a boy lying in a field, bloody and unconscious. Thanks to their intervention, the boy’s life is saved. In the aftermath, all three siblings are irrevocably changed. 

Matthew, the oldest, becomes obsessed with tracking down the assailant, secretly searching the local town with the victim’s brother. Zoe wanders the streets of Oxford, looking at men, and one of them, a visiting American graduate student, looks back. Duncan, the youngest, who has seldom thought about being adopted, suddenly decides he wants to find his birth mother. Overshadowing all three is the awareness that something is amiss in their parents’ marriage. Over the course of the autumn, as each of the siblings confronts the complications and contradictions of their approaching adulthood, they find themselves at once drawn together and driven apart.

Written with the deceptive simplicity and power of a fable, The Boy in the Field showcases Margot Livesey’s unmatched ability to “tell her tale masterfully, with intelligence, tenderness, and a shrewd understanding of all our mercurial human impulses” (Lily King, author of Euphoria).

Review

“In the broadest sense, Margot Livesey’s exquisite novel The Boy in the Field is a whodunit.… But the real mysteries lie elsewhere, specifically and most compellingly with the characters who are witnesses to the crime…. Livesey’s writing is quiet, observant and beautifully efficient — there’s not an extra word or scene in the entire book — and yet simultaneously so cinematic, you can hear the orchestral soundtrack as you tear through the pages.”  -- New York Times Book Review

“An expertly crafted novel of family (and one almost magically good dog) filled with dazzling insights and beauty.” -- People, Book of the Week

"With a pointillist''s eye and a detective''s nose, Livesey has produced a novel that is gorgeous in its lyricism and as kinetic as a whodunit." 
-- O, the Oprah Magazine

“Luminous.... Livesey’s language is crystalline-clear and immersive.... Ultimately what keeps Livesey’s novel aloft is that it is full of kindnesses ... as well as Livesey’s precisely evocative words. At one point, Duncan tears a handful of his sketches in half, “enjoying the decisive sound of fibers parting.” Like so many other moments in this novel, that description nails the moment, the character, and the elemental aspect of the book in one fell, satisfactory swoop.” -- Boston Globe

“A swift-moving mystery that expands into subtler sorts of narratives — the coming of age, the family in crisis — Margot Livesey’s ninth novel, The Boy in the Field, once more demonstrates how she’s the best sort of pro.” -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Here, everything and everyone feels real. Maybe because those most sensational details of incidents that would normally be the raison d’etre of a book like this one, with a crime at its center, receive the very welcome nuanced treatment from author Livesey, whose novels have, for a couple of decades now, been successful at making the rich subtext of feeling, memory, and difficult life decisions mulled over, the main event of her stories."
-- New York Journal of Books

“How lucky the world is that Margot Livesey has turned her usual keen and sympathetic writer’s eye to the Lang children as they struggle to make sense of a terrible crime and the sensitive, mysterious young victim who suffers in the aftermath. From its taut and frightening opening chapter to its final, mournful pages, The Boy in the Field  is a tender, deeply humane exploration of family, philosophy, and what it means to grow up, to keep secrets, to care for one another, and most importantly, what it means to hold another’s heart in yours, always, with tenderness and mercy.” -- Elizabeth Wetmore, author of Valentine

"I loved every single sentence of The Boy in the Field. This novel is so intricately woven, its world so vibrantly built, its characters so beautifully and empathically wrought. To experience the world as rendered by Margot Livesey is a singular, extraordinary delight." -- Claire Lombardo, author of The Most Fun We Ever Had

“Margot Livesey has the unique ability to find the hidden darkness beneath the surface of our lives, no matter how deeply buried. A deceptively simple story that explores the aftermath of a moment of violence, The Boy in the Field amazed me with its insight, and the subtlety of Livesey''s beautiful, almost dreamlike prose. She speaks of a sensation -- "quick as a mousetrap, sharp as a thorn" -- and I can''t think of a better description of her work. Quick and sharp.” -- Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here

“Written in elegant, spare prose, this story flies swiftly forward s from the transfixing opening pages. A charming, complicated family dynamic, a twist of eerie magic.” -- Tessa Hadley, author of Late in the Day

“Powerfully affecting.” -- Kirkus, starred review

“Every character rings true; every observation and reaction feels real. Braiding three separate views of the same incident, Livesey weaves a masterful tapestry of emotion and action focused on the indelible impact of random events.” -- Booklist, starred review

“A distinctive blend of literary fiction and psychological thriller.... Precise prose, cool observation, and tight pacing will keep readers turning the pages. This is a memorable twist on the coming-of-age tale.”  -- Publishers Weekly

“Compelling in its simplicity and complexity. Each page is rich with understanding of how lives fit together and fall apart.” -- Bookreporter.com

“Written with psychological precision and empathy…. Explores the enduring and, in this case, elastic bonds of family love.” -- BookPage

“A stunning novel of tenderness, interconnectedness, cause and effect.” -- Shelf Awareness

About the Author

Margot Livesey is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture, The Missing World, Criminals, and Homework. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, and the Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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4.1 out of 54.1 out of 5
1,358 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

JLA
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful new novel
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2020
The Boy in the Field is a beautiful, graceful, and engrossing novel by the prolific writer Margot Livesey. The novel does, as the title informs, begin with a boy in the field, a stabbed boy, surviving only because three siblings discover him on their walk home... See more
The Boy in the Field is a beautiful, graceful, and engrossing novel by the prolific writer Margot Livesey.

The novel does, as the title informs, begin with a boy in the field, a stabbed boy, surviving only because three siblings discover him on their walk home from school, after their father fails to pick them up on time. Although the mystery of what happened to Karel, the boy in the field, is an organizing principle throughout the book, the focus shifts to the siblings, Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan, who are each propelled in new ways by the event. Zoe describes it as such: “A change, invisible to most people, had overtaken (31)" and Duncan observes “his family members are traveling to separate destinations (81).”

Matthew, 18, who loves crime novels, and embodies a fierce desire for justice against all violence, is captivated by what he imagines a “victim and villain scenario (19).” He goes back to the field searching for clues, makes multiple contacts with the detective on Karel’s case, Hugh Price, and even goes so far as to partner with Karel’s brother, Tomas, to do some undercover policing himself.

Zoe, 16, on the brink of discovering her sexuality, exposes herself to riskier scenarios as she wanders the streets, alone, in Oxford. She realizes that what happens in flirtation is on the surface is one thing, but below the surface is likely something else (87) and her goal is “how to say yes (93).”

And Duncan, 13, (and my favorite character) is an artist who yearns to “make pictures where a lot is left out but people fill in the details (89)." He notices beautiful small things, like the different color of two egg yokes…and the curve of a dog’s eyebrow (6). He seems to have flashes of wisdom, too. “People don’t [always] know they’re lying…It’s like they’re color blind (75). Duncan sets out on a journey to fill a void of loneliness, first in seeking a new dog, and then telling his family he’d like to find his birth mother.

It isn’t just the children who seemingly spin out of orbit, the children’s parents, Hal and Betsy, turn out not to be as stable as they seem at the start. The secrets and threats infiltrate their marriage, too.

This is a novel first about family, but also about growing up, self-actualization, loss, love, justice, fear, and finally, perhaps ultimately, how we can land alongside one another.
18 people found this helpful
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J. DAVIDSON
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Completely engrossing
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2020
I read it in one sitting, might be the first novel I''ve read like that since time of pandemic. It is a small canvas but the treatment is deep. Highly recommended.
14 people found this helpful
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Mary Marcus, Los Angeles
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Literary page turner!!!
Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2020
Once I started, the world fell away, thank God. I have loved Livesey''s work for years. I think The Boy in The Field is her best one, if that''s even possible! It''s also, gorgeously written, nice to hold in the hands, has a beautiful cover, the list goes... See more
Once I started, the world fell away, thank God.
I have loved Livesey''s work for years. I think The Boy in The Field
is her best one, if that''s even possible! It''s also, gorgeously written,
nice to hold in the hands, has a beautiful cover, the list goes on.
Buy it, savor it!
10 people found this helpful
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N. Erdmann
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Magical Realism not Magical for ME
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2021
Margot Livesy is an author whose novels I usually admire and enjoy reading. I believe I’ve read most if not all of her fiction. Although THE BOY IN THE FIELD is one of Livesy’s beginning novels, I seem to have read it last. Although her literary style, her... See more
Margot Livesy is an author whose novels I usually admire and enjoy reading. I believe I’ve read most if not all of her fiction.
Although THE BOY IN THE FIELD is one of Livesy’s beginning novels, I seem to have read it last.

Although her literary style, her actual use of words in sentences, in paragraphs and chapters is quite as good as in the other books, for me, this book’s characters don’t come alive. They shadows with shadowy relationships to other shadows, none of which makes us care. Nothing is vital here. This novel seems an attempt to make mystical meaning through many touches of floating magic. Which only float palely, meaninglessly.

At the conclusion, the father of the family in question dresses for a costume party as the surgeon who did the first heart exchange.
He dresses in a lab coat with a stethoscope appended carrying the model of a heart. That “heart” in his hand, detached, part of a charade, could represent the lack of heart in these characters, the locations, this narrative, the novel.

I don’t like to say so, but all Livesy’s characters here, to whom she’s tried to impart vivid stories, feelings, ideas, positions in and around the central family of the book, just float around. Too emptily and imitatively to interest.
2 people found this helpful
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Dusty
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I expected more.
Reviewed in the United States on August 18, 2020
Read a few glowing reviews for this book and expected to be engaged in a ‘psychological drama’. Instead the storyline read as a fairy tale with minimal consequences for transgressions. The writing is crisp. However, characters lacked psychological shading.
6 people found this helpful
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KasaC
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Three characters come of age
Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2020
Although I''ve read other books by Margot Livesey, this is the best in terms of plotting, character, and resolution. It shows a maturity lacking in some other of her works, which actually have been labeled as YA. Here we have a coming of age but of three teenaged siblings,... See more
Although I''ve read other books by Margot Livesey, this is the best in terms of plotting, character, and resolution. It shows a maturity lacking in some other of her works, which actually have been labeled as YA. Here we have a coming of age but of three teenaged siblings, the focus equally divided. Matthew, Zoe and Duncan come across a young man who has been savaged (well, he is 18, not so much a boy any more, but The Young Man in the Field is a stupid choice for a title). Beginning with mishearing a whispered comment, these three find themselves dealing with an acceleration in their emotional development, and each has their own journey. There were a few flaws that held back a five star rating, but overall recommended.
2 people found this helpful
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Laurence R. BachmannTop Contributor: Fantasy Books
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Enjoyable read that ran out of gas
Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2021
The Boy In The Field is the story of 3 siblings and a violent act they discover that impacts each of their lives. They are different ages, two brothers, one sister, one adopted. The novel starts strong--good writing, different points of view, well told and plausible. The... See more
The Boy In The Field is the story of 3 siblings and a violent act they discover that impacts each of their lives. They are different ages, two brothers, one sister, one adopted. The novel starts strong--good writing, different points of view, well told and plausible. The first half is extremely engaging, even gripping. Unfortunately, the "mystery" turns out to be no mystery and the plot shifts, propelled by a family secret uncovered.

Sadly, the "secret" turns out to be pretty banal and shocking only to 12 and 16 year olds.. The penultimate and final chapter didn''t really work for me. The choices of a couple of family members seemed more than a stretch, and one was well into the realm of far- fetched. Others were more believable, even satisfying. Overall, though The Boy in the Field was just pretty good. I would have liked more about the eponymous boy in the field, who seemed unfinished.

Add a start if you''re a sucker for romanticized, happy family endings.
One person found this helpful
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Cathryn Conroy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An Old-Fashioned Fable at Its Heart, This Magnificent Novel Is Literary Fiction at Its Finest
Reviewed in the United States on September 11, 2021
An old-fashioned fable at its heart, this extraordinary book by Margot Livesey is literary fiction at its finest. It''s the kind of novel that on the surface is nothing more than a good read, but then it sneakily wormed its way into my brain so I found myself often thinking... See more
An old-fashioned fable at its heart, this extraordinary book by Margot Livesey is literary fiction at its finest. It''s the kind of novel that on the surface is nothing more than a good read, but then it sneakily wormed its way into my brain so I found myself often thinking about it and its deeper meanings at the most unexpected times.

The setting is Oxfordshire, England. Three teenage siblings—Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan—are walking home from school one day when Zoe spots something in a field. They run toward it and realize it''s a boy about their age, covered in blood and stab wounds. He is barely conscious. Their swift actions save the boy''s life, but this act of violence forever changes the three. Matthew, 17, is determined to find the perpetrator. Zoe, 15, starts staring strange men in the eyes—and when they look back at her, things get interesting. Duncan, 13, who never before was concerned that he is adopted and looks very different from the rest of his family, decides it''s time to find his first mother. Eventually, they individually meet the unusual boy in the field, and their interactions with him have a lasting impact. Meanwhile, the parents of Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan are experiencing their own heartbreaking and shocking crises.

This imaginative novel''s greatest strength is the bright and bold characters. They are all distinct, filled with personality, and absolutely delightful. It is the characters—even the minor ones—who tie the threads of the plot together and turn this into the kind of book that is just so very special.

The ending is both tragic and perfect, as Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan each find what they are looking for, providing not only healing from the past, but also a path to the future.

This is a magnificent tale about love and loss, betrayal and reconciliation that astonishes and delights.
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Top reviews from other countries

Mr. Peter Webb
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A lovely take on adolescence
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 30, 2020
3 siblings in the same middle class idealistic family passing through adolescence exploring the different worries and interactions which each other and their parents. Duncan worries about his birth mother, Zoe wants to explore sex whilst Mathew ponders the loss of his...See more
3 siblings in the same middle class idealistic family passing through adolescence exploring the different worries and interactions which each other and their parents. Duncan worries about his birth mother, Zoe wants to explore sex whilst Mathew ponders the loss of his girlfriend and the knowledge his father is having an affair. In many respects the boy found in the field is incidental though it does tie the children’s feelings together, forms a thread for the narrative and poses some questions. This is not a “who done it” or detective story. Its nicely written and sharply observed take on adolescence. Though It’s a very readable book with a beginning and middle it’s let down by the poor ending; as if the author had lost interest or become bored with the project. There’s an “eight years later” bit attached to the end, slightly unbelievable, which is a cop out and one feels the interesting story might be the period between when the book ends and eight years later Although an insightful view of adolescence; the lack of a decent ending and the rather fluffy realism to the storyline makes this only an average read and rates 3.5 stars
2 people found this helpful
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Donny Rock
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Worth a look.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 22, 2021
A portrait of a family with three children ranging in age from 13 to 18, a father and mother. The ending lets this book down, I feel. It should have been enough to leave it without the eight years later bit. The relationship be6tween father and mother is barely touched...See more
A portrait of a family with three children ranging in age from 13 to 18, a father and mother. The ending lets this book down, I feel. It should have been enough to leave it without the eight years later bit. The relationship be6tween father and mother is barely touched upon. Is the younger boy on the autistic spectrum? All three of the children have imaginations run riot, which may well explain their insecurities. Or should that be the other way round? This insecurity is very well dealt with. Topics of amateur sleuthing, family loyalty and love, and adoption are all treated.
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Kindle Customer Tim Bull
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A wonderfully crafted story.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2021
The way Margot Livesey uses the right words so carefully chosen to bring each scene and character to life puts her in a class of very few. This wonderfully told story with a focus on the tribulations that characterise our formative years will stay with you. This is my first...See more
The way Margot Livesey uses the right words so carefully chosen to bring each scene and character to life puts her in a class of very few. This wonderfully told story with a focus on the tribulations that characterise our formative years will stay with you. This is my first experience of her art and it will not be my last.
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ALEX FITZGERALD
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Terrific story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2021
Beautiful descriptions and great characters
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Rodrigo Ramos
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Pretty impressive.
Reviewed in Brazil on January 19, 2021
Great story, with deep description of adolescence feelings and fears. I strongly recommend it.
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Product information

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale

The 2021 Boy in sale the Field: A Novel outlet online sale