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‘This early stocking filler of a novel is a brutal treat’ Daily Mail From the award winning novelist and short story writer Lionel Shriver comes a literary gem a story about love and the power of a giftWhen Weston Babansky receives an extravagant engagement present from his best friend and old flame Jillian Frisk he doesn’t uite know what to make of it – or how to get it past his fiancée Especially as it’s a massive handmade intensely personal sculpture that they’d have to live with foreverAs the argument rages about whether Jillian’s gift was an act of pure platonic generosity or something insidious battle lines are drawnCan men and women ever be friends? Just friends?Described by the Sunday Times as ‘a brilliant writer’ with ‘a strong clear and strangely seductive voice’ Lionel Shriver has written a glittering examination of friendship ownership and the conditions of love

10 thoughts on “The Standing Chandelier

  1. says:

    Love Has LimitsWhen A loves B and B loves C but C hates A none of the relations are stable Especially if B is a male who defines himself by these relations and therefore puts himself emotionally at the mercy of females A and C Thanks to B everyone is confused and hapless Men Who’d have ‘em?Women are resilient than men less naive and generally capable of guile Is that sexist? Perhaps But that’s Shriver’s opinion and I trust her Personally I’ve never understood why women aren’t the only candidates for Army generalships which demand strategy savvy intelligence; and why men aren’t restricted to the lower ranks that reuire only myopic muscle

  2. says:

    Can men and women every really just be friends—best friends? This is the uestion at the heart of Lionel Shriver's new novellaWhen Weston asks Paige to marry him she says yes under one condition Weston must end his friendship with his best friend of 25 years Jillian who Paige despisesThough barely over 100 pages The Standing Chandelier is packed with Shriver's mesmerizingly sharp insight and analysis of human behaviorAre the judgments that we make about others accurate or are they merely borne from our own misguided presumptions? Inevitably both and this will always pose a challenge for relationships of any kind This was a completely captivating read that had me empathizing with everyone involved

  3. says:

    Social relations are tricky Sometimes you have a natural rapport with a person Sometimes you wish for a stronger friendship than someone wants to give you Sometimes you receive attention from a person you have no interest in being friends with Lionel Shriver has an unerring knack for cutting through social niceties and portraying the psychology of her characters in a disarmingly candid manner In her new novella “The Standing Chandelier” she presents Jillian Frisk a loud opinionated colourful woman with an artistic sensibility She knows she rubs many people the wrong way but forges on regardless She’s close friends with Weston who is of a natural introvert After years of this friendship he develops a serious romance with a woman named Paige who can’t stand Jillian Weston and Jillian’s once reliable friendship becomes threatened This story asks many tensely awkward uestions about our social natures the emotional risks of intimacy and the limits of friendshipRead my full review of The Standing Chandelier by Lionel Shriver on LonesomeReader

  4. says:

    I love everything that Lionel Shriver does and always drop everything to read her and this little novella was another cracker Jillian and Baba have been best friends for 25 years Both are unusual people who totally accept and love one another unconditionally They’ve slept together a few times over the years but it’s really their lovely friendship that has endured Jillian is a fascinating character and I loved her; uirky and strange and creative Baba is loyal and thoughtful and I loved the purity of their friendship Then Baba proposes to his girlfriend Paige and everything changes in ways the reader does not see coming Shriver writes really relatable characters with an unflinching honesty and she really knows human nature There are sections of this story that I think most people would read and nod and think ‘Yes I know how that feels too’ Read it all in one go as it’s short but so because it’s unputdownable Loved it highly recommended

  5. says:

    This book broke my heart They characters felt so real I felt I was reading a memoir instead of a work of fiction

  6. says:

    Shriver writes so well about the human condition that even the most minute and mundane of details of domestic life are a pleasure to read This emotional but not literal menage a trois is sympathetic to all three flawed characters and their contradicting yet understandable standpoints And that is the simple joy of this novella; the author gives the reader the generous responsibility of deciding on who is morally at fault A perfect short snappy and sophisticated novella

  7. says:

    Took awhile to get into this novella but an okay novel but not a master piece though

  8. says:

    I spotted one of my Goodreads friends reading this and purchased a copy for my Kindle I really enjoy Shriver's writing and whilst I've not even got through than one of her novels to date I wanted to see how she would craft a shorter work stylistically The main nub of The Standing Chandelier can a man and woman be 'just friends'? sounded rather twee and overdone and is something I would ordinarily avoid I was than intrigued by the way in which Shriver might handle it however and was pleasantly impressed She manages to avoid an awful lot of cliched tropes and creates an exploration which is unusual than usualThe prose throughout the novella is intelligent and taut as I was expecting and I was pulled in straight away Shriver still involves a lot of depth when crafting her characters and both Weston and Jillian come across as fully formed and believable individuals Darkly funny at times the story carries one through from beginning to end at a perfectly adjusted pace Rather than lose herself in the constrained form or having to drop interesting elements of storyline in order to obey the conventions of the novella The Standing Chandelier is rather perfect in terms of its size Yes it can be read in a couple of hours but it still feels rich and has a lot of emotional depth to it

  9. says:

    Two's company three's a superb novellaSince their long ago college days Jillian Frisk has been best friends with Weston Babansky whom she calls Baba They share a love of tennis talking and each other The friendship has even survived consummation two periods over the years when they ‘got it on’ together But can their relationship possibly survive Paige Myer the new woman in Baba’s life?This slight novella – just 122 pages – is packed full of Lionel Shriver’s signature wit sharp observation and her insight into human interaction and frailties “We are all audiences of our own lives” I have a feeling that who readers side with in this rather saddening triangular story will engender fierce debate and I look forward to reading further reviews

  10. says:

    In this short but powerful novella Lionel Shriver asks the age old uestion Can men and women ever be just friends? When Weston proposes to his longtime girlfriend Paige her acceptance comes with one condition He must sever ties with his best friend of 25 years and old flame Jillian When Jillian gives the couple an intensely personal and extravagant engagement gift dubbed The Standing Chandelier the complicated relationship triangle is made all the messier The gift is large awkward and inconvenient signifying the elephant in the room that is Weston and Jillian’s cloudy relationship Anyone who’s been in a serious relationship will relate to this on both sides of the spectrum Readers will find themselves empathizing with every character yet also wanting to shake them out of their stupidity at other times Read it in one sitting to experience the full intensity