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A Sight For Sore Eyes

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes (UK 2011)

From the Publisher:
In traditional fairy tales the handsome prince rescues the beautiful princess from her wicked stepmother, and the couple live happily ever after.

But in Ruth Rendell's dark and damaged contemporary universe, innocent dreams can turn into the most terrible nightmares.

Teddy Brex emerges from a loveless, isolated childhood as a handsome but autistic young man. Francine Hill, traumatised by the murder of her mother, grows into a beautiful young woman, who must endure the overprotectiveness of an increasingly obsessive stepmother.

Teddy Brex does ride to her rescue, but he is a man who has already committed two murder... twice.

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes. Arrow, ISBN 9780099557159 (June, 2011), 432 p., £7.99.

 

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A Sight For Sore Eyes

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes (USA 2000)

From the Publisher:
Teddy was born in squalor. Now he is a craftsman determined to banish ugliness from his life. Harriet is a beautiful, bored trophy wife who employs a series of repairmen for her sexual satisfaction. And Francine is a college student who witnessed her mother's murder and now must free herself from her father's manipulative second wife. Connected by strands of chance, their lives intersecting in the strangest of ways, these three people are on a journey that will bring them to each other--and to a beautiful ivy-covered home with at least one dead body in the basement...

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes. Dell Publishing, ISBN: 0440235448 (April, 2000), 384 p., $6.99.

 

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A Sight For Sore Eyes

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes (UK 1999)

From the Publisher:
In traditional fairy tales the handsome prince rescues the beautiful princess from her wicked stepmother, and the couple live happily ever after.

But in Ruth Rendell's dark and damaged contemporary universe, innocent dreams can turn into the most terrible nightmares.

Teddy Brex emerges from a loveless, isolated childhood as a handsome but autistic young man. Francine Hill, traumatised by the murder of her mother, grows into a beautiful young woman, who must endure the overprotectiveness of an increasingly obsessive stepmother.

Teddy Brex does ride to her rescue, but he is a man who has already committed two murder... twice.

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes. Arrow, ISBN 0099271451 (September, 1999), 417 p., £5.99.

 

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A Sight For Sore Eyes

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes (USA 1999)

From the Publisher:
A Sight for Sore Eyes tells three stories, and for the longest time, the reader has no inkling of how they will come together. The first is a story of a little girl who has been scolded and sent to her room when her mother is brutally murdered; as Francine grows up, she is haunted by the experience, and it is years before she even speaks. Secondly, we become privy to the life of a young man, Teddy, born of unthinking young parents, who grows up almost completely ignored. Free of societal mores, he becomes a sociopath, who eventually discovers that killing can be an effective way to get what he wants. Thirdly, we meet Harriet, who from an early age has learned to use her beauty to make her way in the world. Bored by marriage to a wealthy, much older man, she scans the local newspapers for handymen to perform odd jobs around the house, including services in the bedroom.

When these three plots strands finally converge, the result is harrowing and unforgettable. A Sight for Sore Eyes is not just the work of a writer at the peak of her craft. It is an extraordinary story by a writer who, after 45 books, countless awards, and decades of international acclaim, is still getting better with every book.

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes. A Novel. Crown, ISBN: 0609604171 (March, 1999), 327 p., $24.00.

 

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A Sight For Sore Eyes

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes (UK 1998)

From the Publisher:
'Lying in bed he thought about Francine as she had been, seated in front of his mirror, swathed in stiff silk, her reflected face looking gravely back at her real face. She must easily be the most beautiful girl in the world. A sight for sore eyes. Alfred Chance had once used that expression and it had stuck in his mind. About an object, though, not a person. It meant that looking at beauty took away pain and hurt and made you better. Francine made him better and his eyes were sore when they couldn't feast on her.'

Neither his mother nor his father took much notice of Teddy Brex. No one ever cuddled him, or played with him or talked to him. The only person he could vaguely relate to was Alfred Chance, who lived next door, and made beautiful things in his workshop.

People, Teddy suspected, were uniformly vile and rotten, vastly inferior to things. Objects never let you down.

When Francine Hill was discovered by her father, sitting by the body of her mother, her skirt red with blood, she was mute. Not until nine months after the murder did she manage to speak, but she could not tell the police or her father anything to help track down the killer.

Damaged children grow up in different ways. Some can shuffle off the horrors of the past, others perhaps cannot change who they are, or will never know how Teddy Brex became a handsome young man, Francine was beautiful. But it was death that brought them together...

Ruth Rendell: A Sight For Sore Eyes. Hutchinson, ISBN 009180101X (September, 1998), 352 p., £16.99.

 

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