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Learned by Heart (2023)

por Emma Donoghue

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23911112,581 (3.52)15
Drawing on years of investigation and Anne Lister's five-million-word secret journal, Learned by Heart is the long-buried love story of Eliza Raine, an orphan heiress banished from India to England at age six, and Anne Lister, a brilliant, troublesome tomboy, who meet at the Manor School for young ladies in York in 1805 when they are both fourteen. Emotionally intense, psychologically compelling, and deeply researched, Learned by Heart is an extraordinary work of fiction by one of the world's greatest storytellers. Full of passion and heartbreak, the tangled lives of Anne Lister and Eliza Raine form a love story for the ages.… (más)
Añadido recientemente porbiblioteca privada, VMBG, maryriii, sarahb86, christinejoseph, JoeB1934, JFBCore, HomesteadV, JFB87, AmandaGC
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» Ver también 15 menciones

Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
I loved being immersed in the setting of an all-girls' boarding school in York in the early 1800's. As a graduate of an all-women's college, I find that, in many ways, some things have not changed--from deep friendships to classroom banter.

This is the story of Eliza Raine and Anne Lister. Best friends and then lovers, this unlikely pair are the readers' guide through their world of girls' education, marital and societal expectations, and family dynamics. Eliza is Indian, the daughter of an Englishmen who passed away when she was a child. Her dark skin made her stand out among her pale classmates. Always self-conscious of her ethnicity and illegitimate parentage, Eliza was an "exotic" match to Anne's boyish enthusiasm and mischief.

While a love story at its core, LEARNED BY HEART is also a story of sadness and broken hearts. Eliza is a character that won't soon leave my heart. I hope someone picks this story up and makes a movie out of it! ( )
  mrstreme | Apr 5, 2024 |
After loving most of Donoghue's novels, I finally found one I really didn't like. I thought the premise was promising. It's historical fiction based on Anne Lister and her early teen years at a girls' boarding school. I didn't know anything about Lister, but she was a famous in the early 19th century for her diaries in which she described her lesbian relationships and non-traditional approach to life as a woman. There was a recent tv show about her called Gentleman Jack.

This novel describes a relationship between a young teen named Eliza Raine and Anne Lister. They are young, 15, and roommates at boarding school. Raine's father was British and her mother was Indian and Eliza lived in India til she was six. Her brown skin is going to cause her problems in the marriage market. Eliza and Lister develop a friendship that turns physical. But life will conspire to keep them apart.

There were a lot of problems with this book. I usually like a good boarding school novel, but in this the daily details were boring and none of the characters - students or teachers - came to life for me. Anne and Eliza's relationship didn't ring true to me either. For the first half of the book they are friends, but I didn't see a spark there to develop into a romantic relationship. But then suddenly they are having wild sex all night, every night. And the book is interspersed with letters from Eliza to Anne and it's clear that 10 years after the boarding school events, she is in an insane asylum. But why? There wasn't any lead up to this or explanation.

I could go on and on with the problems. I have really enjoyed the other books I've read by Donoghue, but I'd pass on this one. ( )
  japaul22 | Feb 21, 2024 |
Creative telling of forbidden love in 19th century England, two schoolgirls seen by some as outsiders learn together about love. The story and historical time makes this an interesting read, though it took quite some time for me to come to like or relate to the characters. I suppose we all felt a little bit of an outsider as teens, and Rain and Lister were no different. Their exploration of love in their "invented" form is often sweet and innocent. But the connection for me was lacking. ( )
  elifra | Jan 7, 2024 |
Last book of the year! I think the four stars are mostly out of relief, but I did enjoy this one. The author's love for local lass Anne Lister makes the young 'Gentleman Jack' by far the strongest character and I enjoyed learning about her love affair with the biracial Eliza Raine at York's Manor School, but both girls still seemed rather cliched - Lister outspoken and defiant, breaking rules and sneaking out at night, while Eliza is a nervous innocent, defined by her Indian heritage and orphan status. The local and historical research was a little heavy-handed too, feeling more like footnotes forced into the dialogue - an awkward technique I also recall from Life Mask.

That said, the hardback edition (signed!) with sprayed edges is a beautiful book and even came with a tote bag, so I'm happy. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Dec 31, 2023 |
This novel is based on a true story: in the early 1800s, two fourteen year old students at a British girls’ boarding school fall into a passionate, yet secret, lesbian relationship. They also talk. A lot.

Emma Donohue has written a few books (Room, The Wonder, and Haven) I have enjoyed but this one’s a clunker. It is dry and slow moving, and I found that I didn’t care about either of the protagonists or their doomed love. Perhaps the weakest aspect is the character of Lister. She is constantly spouting off facts as understood in the early 1800s (she’s supposed to be brilliant) and Latin taglines rendered in the original language. Lister’s conversations with her lover Eliza sound very unnatural.

The author can, and has, written better novels. ( )
  akblanchard | Dec 6, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
Her latest, “Learned by Heart,” is a fascinating story set at an English girls school in 1805 and — wait for it — what we once called an insane asylum in 1815. It has characters with complex internal lives, insights into the human soul, and a wrenching love story that’s both queer and multiracial....My one quibble with the novel (and it’s a small one) is that Donoghue shares a lot of her research into the routines of school life in the 19th century, and those rituals slow the tale. But this is a small objection.
 
Donoghue is at her very best evoking the mysteries and miracles of first love, the magical discoveries of an intoxicating private world for two. The two girls share an attic room at the school that they nickname the Slope. Under the eaves in this unlikely box-room paradise, Anne slowly and skilfully draws the outsider Eliza from her carefully constructed protective shell and sets her blazingly alight. Sex on the page can be excruciating but Donoghue’s prose is beautiful and beautifully controlled.... A trademark of Donoghue’s fiction is her blend of profundity and plot, but in this novel she has allowed research to take the place of action....I found myself wishing away the long passages in the classroom or in conversation with their many classmates
 

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With this
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this glass with
this face I kissed
a lass
—-Graffiti on window,
Huntington Room,
King's Manor, York
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For Chris Roulston,
ally in all
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My dear Lister,
Last night I went to the Manor again.
Citas
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Drawing on years of investigation and Anne Lister's five-million-word secret journal, Learned by Heart is the long-buried love story of Eliza Raine, an orphan heiress banished from India to England at age six, and Anne Lister, a brilliant, troublesome tomboy, who meet at the Manor School for young ladies in York in 1805 when they are both fourteen. Emotionally intense, psychologically compelling, and deeply researched, Learned by Heart is an extraordinary work of fiction by one of the world's greatest storytellers. Full of passion and heartbreak, the tangled lives of Anne Lister and Eliza Raine form a love story for the ages.

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