The Service of Clouds

  • by Susan Hill
  • Narrated by Matt Addis, Rachel Atkins
  • 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At the far end of the long white gallery is a painting of woman, in pale flowing clothes and lying on a sofa beside an open window. The muslin curtains billow out towards her like clouds. There is a touch of brilliant red, the ribbon on her hat. The rest is the white, cream, palest grey. It is a painting which leads Flora on, beckoning her away from her childhood, her complaining, clinging mother, pert younger sister, and the confines of a small community, to a proud and self-reliant future. But later, its image is to prove the catalyst for the most significant event in her life.
Isolation, separation, solitude, betrayal. The shocks of life. The consolations and the beauty of death. A few piercing moments of absolute joy and perfect understanding. The Service of Clouds is about these things, and also about love, loyalty, friendship, growing up, and growing old.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A melancholy, unusual tale

The title is taken from a piece by John Ruskin, referring to certain painters: “If a general and characteristic name were needed for modern landscape art, none better could be invented than the service of clouds."

This book reminded me of an Anita Brookner novel more than anything else, and that isn't a bad thing. Of slow pace, with beautiful literary writing, and good characterization, it is a novel in which not a lot happens. If you like a book with a lot of action and external conflict which moves the plot forward, this won't be a good selection for you.

I found it heartbreaking, sad, intriguing, and highly original. It's a book that plays to Susan Hill's strengths. Well done, and recommended to the reader who enjoys this literary style of novel.
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- Die Falknerin "Painter, musician, bibliophile..."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-02-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios