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Seven Steeples
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
13 posts | 10 read | 13 to read
For fans of Jenny Offill and Rachel Cusk: A stunning, powerful new novel about a couple that pushes against traditional expectations, moving with their dogs to the Irish countryside where they embed themselves in nature and learns truths about love, success versus failure, and what it means to restart our lives on our own terms.
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review
jlhammar
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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Pickpick

This was one strange yet beautiful little book. If you are in the mood for something quiet, lyrical and unconventional, I‘d definitely recommend.

Tamra Yes! 2d
57 likes1 comment
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jlhammar
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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“The mountain was full of miniature eyes.”

#FirstLineFridays

Tamra This is a good one! 3w
54 likes1 comment
review
rmaclean4
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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Pickpick
jlhammar This is in my March TBR stack. Looking forward to it! 1mo
Librarybelle Nice! 1mo
BarbaraBB I had this stacked already. Sounds great 1mo
squirrelbrain Great review! I started this when it was rumoured for the Booker (I think) but put it to one side; I may try again some time. 1mo
28 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
ashw21
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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Mehso-so

An introspective story of a young couple who chose to leave Dublin to quieter surroundings to find a home away from the busy world, family and friends.. content in their solace, it is a thought provoking read on what we truly need in life.. loved the writing but just felt distant to the characters .. maybe that was the point.. but a worthwhile read!

BarbaraBB Sounds like a book I‘d enjoy. Stacking. 1mo
ashw21 @BarbaraBB Beautiful writing and imagery .. 1mo
11 likes2 comments
review
Tamra
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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Pickpick

The above quote sums this novel up. Nothing & everything happens and the mountain is an omnipresent witness to the inexorable passage of time.

Beautiful poetic prose! I am going to look at Baume‘s backlist.

andrew61 I loved, A line made by walking, so will definitely try and read this soon. 2mo
Tamra @andrew61 I‘m putting all of her work on my TBR! 2mo
jlhammar Lovely. Now I‘m looking forward to this even more. 2mo
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Tamra @jlhammar I hope you enjoy it! Slow paced, but the writing is worth the journey. 2mo
Cathythoughts Lovely! Stacked it already. 2mo
38 likes1 stack add6 comments
blurb
Tamra
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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Leisurely morning to be followed by lunch with friends. For this particular set getting a date which works for everyone is akin to herding cats. 🐈 We all enjoy reading, but our conversations are frenetic because we see each other so infrequently, which means bookish conversation doesn‘t last nearly long enough.

Just started this novel and I have high hopes! It appears nature is going to be a central theme. 😊

jlhammar Cute kitty. I'm hoping to get to this one next month. 2mo
Ruthiella Enjoy your lunch! I liked by the same author 2mo
LeahBergen That sounds lovely! Enjoy your lunch. ❤️ 2mo
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Cathythoughts Sounds like a lovely day ♥️ book sounds good 👍🏻 2mo
Tamra @Ruthiella stacked! 2mo
Tamra @jlhammar it‘s one to sit & cozy up with. 2mo
Tamra @LeahBergen @Cathythoughts it was fun and too short! 😉 2mo
61 likes2 stack adds7 comments
review
Jas16
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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Pickpick

Couple Bell and Sigh move to an isolated cabin and withdraw into their own world with their two dogs. Not a lot of plot but plenty of gorgeous writing to keep you turning pages. Another #toblonglist selection that I preferred to many in the shortlist.

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blurb
Megabooks
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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I‘m going to go ahead and call my #doublespin a hibernate (possibly bail). It‘s a novel in prose verse, which is something I‘m not in the mood for right now. 🤷🏻‍♀️ This is on the #toblonglist. Unsure if anyone else attempted it??

Cinfhen Love the photo 😍but I‘ll be passing on this book. I don‘t remember seeing ANY REVIEWS yet 😬Hope you‘re feeling a bit better today xxx 2mo
sarahbarnes I have it on my library pile right no but so far I haven‘t been inspired to pick it up, 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Another lovely cover, but prose verse rarely works for me 2mo
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merelybookish I read this back before it was a #tob pick. I liked it...listened to it on audio. It was kind of trance-like, life captured in small details, almost a novel about the passing of time. Totally my cuppa! But definitely not for everyone. 2mo
Ruthiella I‘ve not yet tried it, but I did enjoy another one from her which was largely plotless and introspective and a lot about art 2mo
squirrelbrain I tried this a little while ago, I think when it was rumoured for the Booker Longlist but I didn‘t get past the first few pages. I would have tried again if it had made the #ToB shortlist, but not as it was ‘only‘ on the longlist. 2mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain I‘m glad I‘m not the only one who struggled with it. 2mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella yes, this seems very introspective about loneliness. I think I have to be in the right mood for her. 2mo
Megabooks @merelybookish that‘s for the input. 👍🏻 I think I‘m going to have to be in the right mood. 2mo
Megabooks @TheAromaofBooks yes! It is a fantastic cover. 2mo
Megabooks @sarahbarnes I‘m interested to read what you think when you do. 👍🏻 2mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen thanks friend! 🥰 still struggling with screens today, but I‘m hanging in. Thanks for the email! 💜 V excited that your trip is soon!! 🎉🎉 2mo
80 likes1 stack add12 comments
review
nathandrake1997
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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Pickpick

Bell and Sigh, two avid mountain climbers meet on a hike. A few meetings later, they decide to settle in a cabin on a mountain. When we first meet them, they are settling in.It is not made clear whether the nature of their relationship is romantic or platonic. What we are instead told is that both Bell and Sigh are treating this as an experiment in disconnecting themselves from the human world around them as much as possible(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Initially they go for frequent grocery runs and in some or the other way are still connected with society. But this is a connection that is gradually severed, to the point where in one of the later chapters, Bell boils the falling snow to obtain water to brew coffee.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....We follow eight years in Bell and Sigh's life in Sara Baume's Goldsmiths prize 2022 shortlisted novel SEVEN STEEPLES. But the way we follow their lives is where Sara Baume scores her biggest literary innovation, and that is in narrative perspective. The narrative perspective is from the lens of the mountain on which their house is built.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....Since we are looking at the proceedings from the mountain's eyes, the world around Bell and Sigh plays an equal, and at times a bigger part in the proceedings than Bell and Sigh themselves. We learn about Bell and Sigh's day to day lives through their interactions with their surroundings. From coffee stained kitchen platforms to moss encroached walls, the mountain's eye doesn't miss a beat.... 5mo
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nathandrake1997 ....The perception of distance is something that is framed from the mountain's eye as well. In one of the earlier chapters, Bell and Sigh visit a pub that is at a certain distance from the mountain. The mountain has to probably squint its eyes to see this pub. That's how the reader sees this pub as well. The entire sequence of the pub is framed in two lines..... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....The length of a squint. Grocery runs are summed up in a similar manner as well. The instances on the mountain on the other hand receive elaborate descriptions, since the mountain's eye can see them clearly.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is a novel about the physical and psychological connection of human and nature. This is a novel about how both the "physical" and "psychological" of our connection with nature is more intertwined than what's visible to the naked eye.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....But, this is also a novel about how, in pursuit of societal tenets, humans have drifted away from nature and Baume shows us how re-rooting ourselves to the natural world around us can be an act of shedding more than a few layers of oneself.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is a novel whose formal innovations are much more subtle than what's visible to the reader's eye. Just like a mist shrouds the mountain, layers and allusions shroud the formal complexities of the novel.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....Overall, this is yet another formally spellbinding novel in this year's fantastic Goldsmiths prize shortlist. 5mo
16 likes9 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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Pickpick

A very unusual book. No plot really, just the poetic documentation of the passing of seven years in an unconventional couple‘s isolated existence. Sigh and Bell have chosen to retreat with their two dogs to a life away from the ties of society. This book charts their habits, the minutiae of their days, and the nature that surrounds them. Such gorgeous prose.

HeatherBookNerd @Ruthiella I haven‘t read that one yet but plan to. I loved 9mo
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review
ExuberantCrow
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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This is the life that I dream of. Quiet and mundane and rhythmic. Poetical. Simple.

Beautiful writing. Unique. Wonderful descriptive.

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merelybookish
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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This book about an idealistic couple who decamp to a remote cottage at the base of a mountain ticks a lot of my boxes:
-meandering plot where not much happens
-rich crackling language
-inventive structure & perspective
But my focus wandered while listening to it. Would be better in print!
Still it reminded me a bit of Claire-Louise Bennet's Pond (high praise!) And made me want to read more by this author.

jlhammar Great review. I was just trying to decide whether or not to include this one in my June book order so this was very helpful. I think I might! 10mo
merelybookish @jlhammar Thank you! And yes, do read it. Would love to hear your thoughts. It's almost like a meditation on the passage of time and "how you spend your days is how you live your life." 10mo
Tamra I loved it! 2mo
merelybookish @Tamra Yay! She writes beautifully! 2mo
54 likes4 comments