Read Pollard by Laura Beatty Online


Pollard tells the story of Anne, a bag lady, seen in the town as one of the older ones from 'la la land'. Long ago, when she was fifteen, she ran away and made her life alone in the woods. It is her narrative that the reader hears, as Anne survives her first winter. She makes a shelter with her own hands, and decorates it; she forages for things to eat, experiences the panPollard tells the story of Anne, a bag lady, seen in the town as one of the older ones from 'la la land'. Long ago, when she was fifteen, she ran away and made her life alone in the woods. It is her narrative that the reader hears, as Anne survives her first winter. She makes a shelter with her own hands, and decorates it; she forages for things to eat, experiences the pangs of love, watches the foxes and the deer and the changing seasons as the years go by. And in the wood there are other voices: the forest itself, the night, a man with a gun, boys splashing in pools ... and the sound of distant chain-saws, heralding footpaths under the trees and walkways in the canopy.Laura Beatty has a gift for empathy and for challenging the reader. This is writing of the highest calibre....

Title : Pollard
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780701182090
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pollard Reviews

  • Karin
    2019-04-21 09:20

    Beautiful - wonderful - story about nature, survival, and an unlikely, extraordinary fifteen year old heroine.

  • Susannah Marriott
    2019-03-29 10:33

    Best writing about nature I've come across, and a masterclass in writing character. Where's the jacket here?

  • sisterimapoet
    2019-04-17 08:11

    A beautiful and unusual novel. Vividly portraying the way people and place can hold together just as they fall apart. Beatty has a profound understanding of nature and of people too. There are so many ways that this might have gone wrong and it didn't. We are told on the back cover that there will be a tragedy, but we are kept gently on guard throughout, never really knowing if it is coming or has already happened - which is a lot like life.

  • Emily
    2019-04-16 15:38

    Beatty gives her trees a voice – which they use far more than protagonist Anne, it seems – and the power to “witness” (9) everything that happens under their canopy, like a Greek “Chorus” commenting, singing, dancing as tragedy unfolds. But unlike Anne, The Wood “think[s] nothing of [the] nibblers, strippers, choppers” (132) that are altering its shape and Anne’s life; it cares nothing for the individuals it swallows under its shade, for The Wood’s “concern is with life, not the individual” and “there’s always another time, for someone else, if not for [Anne]” (9). The world of The Wood is endless, for it is “good at retrenching […] for every trunk lost” (132) and “looping back on itself forever”, holding on to “some forgotten sense, […] a particular life” (303). The tragedy in this novel is Anne’s alone; the wood will survive, in spirit if not in size.I did not expect this novel, which deals so explicitly with rural-urban convergence, to be so original in its form and its plot. Giving trees a voice and narrative authority seems a risky move for a debut novel, but the surrealism pays off. In fact, reading this reminded me a great deal of Booker Prize-winning How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman – in very simple terms, both protagonists are outcast from society and victims of state authority; both narratives are filled with bewilderment, misunderstanding and impotent fury; both narrators implicate the reader in systems of injustice; and both novels sound an ironic call-to-arms that clashes with the inevitable, hopeless knowledge that nothing can change.Read more of my review at

  • Sue
    2019-04-01 15:36

    It's a long time since I was so emotionally charged after finishing a book. What a clever use of descriptive language this author used.She also managed to entwine the live of Ann with the life of the forest in an incredibly creative way. It may be that a 15 year old girl would not be allowed to just disappear into the woods and not be looked for by someone (even if only social services), but that is just poetic license maybe. However, she just didn't fit in with her family and did what lots of people do and just left. There are many 'bag ladies' around (and gentlemen), who just don't fit in what is seen as 'normal'. This book just shows that falling in love, needing friendships and caring for your surroundings are the province of everyone, even those who are from 'la-la land'.

  • Sam Oxby
    2019-04-04 10:37

    Unfortunately I was reading this book as part of my book group in Inverness, we borrow the books from the library service so as to avoid cost to the members, and didn't manage to finish reading it due to my hubby unexpectedly going into hospital.What I can say is that, from what I read, it was quite a despondent book, revolving around neglect. If you're a particularly keen naturalist or have an interest in the environment, the book would probably be something of interest to you. But personally I found some sections a little too poetic and abstract for my liking in regards to the writing style. But having said that, I only got about a third of the way through the book - so why not try it out yourself and let me know...

  • Sue
    2019-04-09 14:21

    I didn't find this a particularly easy read but I think the subject matter will stay with me. Anne leaves her family at the age of 15 and they seem to ignore the fact that she has gone. She has a sister with whom she does not get on with, who seems quite disagreeable but then if your sister left home and became a 'bag lady' .......... Anne's relationships are all rather strange.The natural aspect of the story is a major part. Urban encroaching on rural.All in all very interesting - one that will pull at the heart strings.

  • Molly
    2019-04-11 08:22

    Pollard is the back story of a 'homeless' woman named Anne, who runs away from home when she's 15 and goes to live into the woods. She becomes completely self-sufficient, growing veg, hunting and cooking animals and building her own house complete with stove. But the outside world won't stay away for ever, and the book tells the story of how she attempts to both hide from 'real life' and to make human connections. It's a beautiful book, lyrically written, and quite sad... in a nice way.

  • Alison
    2019-03-23 10:09

    This book is both heartbreaking and beautiful. I'm still thinking about it. It's about a misfit teenage girl who escapes her dysfunctional family to go and live on her own in the local wood. She becomes a outcast to society. The fragile human relationships she forms are in contrast to her growing understanding of her natural environment and make for some incredibly poignant moments.Just read it please and form your own opinion.

  • Jane
    2019-03-31 10:17

    Quite a weird one. A 15 year old just decides one day she'll leave her family house and go live in the nearby woods. They don't even look for her, and so she builds herself a hut in the forest, living off both the refuse of others and her own forest scrounging. Her endurance and the few relationships she makes with locals are interesting food for thought.

  • Kate
    2019-03-23 10:14

    I was having a time where all books contained no interest for me and books I tired to read were given up on after the first few pages. However this book was the only one that kept me interested all the way through. It's beautifully written, poetic and empathic. Its characterization was flawless and it creates unforgettable moments

  • Lucy Lowry
    2019-04-04 08:32

    Exceedingly strange book. Certainly different. It grew on me (ha ha) and I ended up rather liking the "heroine". Intriguing realisation of the way in which a person could literally live off the land in this day and age.

  • Ruby
    2019-03-30 09:39

    possibly the most moving book i have ever read. her desciptions of the beauty of the unfolding seasons are perfect.