A stranger enters the inner sanctum of the Ashby family posing as Patrick Ashby, the heir to the family’s sizeable fortune. The stranger, Brat Farrar, has been carefully coached on Patrick’s mannerisms, appearance and every significant detail of Patrick’s early life, up to his 13th year when he disappeared and was thought to have drowned himself.
"Another riveting story by Josephine Tey"
Marion Sharpe and her mother seem an unlikely duo to be found on the wrong side of the law. Quiet and ordinary, they have led a peaceful and unremarkable life at their country home, The Franchise. Unremarkable that is, until the police turn up with a demure young woman on their doorstep.Not only does Betty Kane accuse them of kidnap and abuse, she can back up her claim with a detailed description of the attic room in which she was kept, right down to the crack in its round window.
"Beautifully written, engaging story"
Entertaining and different, this is an enjoyable study of a flawed yet characterful Prince of Wales seen through the eyes of the women in his life. Edward Vll, who gave his name to the Edwardian Age and died in 1911, was King of England for the final 10 years of his life. He was 59 when at last he came to the throne. Known as Bertie, the eldest son of Victoria and Albert, he was bullied by both his parents.
"cannot fault this audiobook"
England, 1936. The year began with the death of a beloved king and the ascension of a charismatic young monarch, sympathetic to the needs of the working class, glamorous and single. By year’s end, the world would be stunned as it witnessed that new leader give up his throne in the name of love, just as the unrest and violence that would result in a Second World War were becoming impossible to ignore.
"Good but misleading title and description"
Gwen and Rhys are on the run. Rhys was hoping this meant a windswept cottage on a cliff top, but he’s had to settle for a miserable caravan in the isolated village of Rawbone. With the locals taking an unhealthy interest in their daughter, Gwen and Rhys start to realise that something is very wrong. As they uncover the village’s terrible past, Gwen discovers that Torchwood will never leave her behind, and now she and Rhys stand alone in defence of the Earth. And the children of Rawbone can only bring her closer to the secret forces that want her out of the way.
"Really worth your time"
In June 1940 France fell to the Nazis. The effects of this momentous event on the lives of ordinary Parisians and the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation are brilliantly explored in Irène Némirovsky’s gripping and heartbreaking novel. Némirovsky herself was a tragic victim of the Nazi regime but she left behind her this exceptional masterpiece. In Suite Française she conjures up a vivid cast of wonderful characters who find themselves thrown together in ways they never expected.
She set men's hearts on fire and scandalized a country. An ambitious, stunning, and seductive young woman, Mary Anne finds the single most rewarding way to rise above her station: She will become the mistress to a royal duke. In doing so, she provokes a scandal that rocks Regency England.
In this rich and memorable evocation of the fictional South Riding of Yorkshire are the lives, loves and sorrows of the central characters. There is Sarah Burton, fiery young headmistress; Robert Carne of Maythorpe Hall, a councillor tormented by his own disastrous marriage; Jo Astell, a socialist fighting poverty and his own illness; and Mrs Beddows, the first woman Alderman of the district (like Winifred’s own mother).
On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination.
"What a rich experience with excellent narration."
Anne Bronte's novel is the story of the beautiful and mysterious Helen Graham, who arrives at Wildfell Hall suddenly one day. No one knows who she is or where she has come from, and Gilbert Markham, a young farmer who has fallen in love with her, sets out to find some answers. This is an ambitious and successful work that is a real pleasure to listen to.
The twins' unorthodox childhood - as evacuee babies in Cornwall, at boarding school, then living with their Aunt Maggie - made them grow up self-sufficient. Miranda was the vibrant, flamboyant one. Meg was quieter, more self-effacing. As they grew up, the bond between them held - until Meg went back to Cornwall and fell in love. Their lives shifted, but the link was still there, in spite of all that was to happen.
When Lily Elliott's father dies she loses everything - not just a beloved protector and his wonderful ship the Lily-Jane, but also the way of life she has always known. As her mother sinks into a dream-world and the money which had always seemed sufficient turns out to have been mostly debts, Lily watches, bewildered, as destitution comes ever closer for the Elliott women and their loyal housekeeper. Then two rescuers appear.
As the effects of the war raging in Europe begin to be felt at home in London, Monica Dickens decides to do her bit and to pursue a new career, and so enrols as a student nurse at a hospital in rural Hertfordshire. By nature clever and spirited, she struggles to submit to the iron rule of the Matron and Sisters, and is alternately infuriated and charmed by her patients. That’s not to mention the mountains of menial work that are a trainee’s lot.
By the end of World War I, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel had revolutionised women's dress. But dress was the most visible aspect of more profound changes she helped to bring about. During the course of her extraordinary journey, from abject poverty to a new kind of glamour, she would help forge the idea of the modern woman. Unearthing an astonishing life, this remarkable biography shows how the most influential designer of her century became synonymous with a rebellious and progressive style.
Our perception of Victoria the Queen is coloured by portraits of her older, widowed self – her dour expression embodying the repressive morality propagated in her time. But Becoming Queen reveals an energetic and vibrant woman, determined to battle for power. It also documents the Byzantine machinations behind Victoria’s quest to occupy the throne, and shows how her struggles did not end when finally the crown was placed on her head.
When beautiful Tessa Harrison and her twin cousins take over their parents' Lancashire cotton mill, their luxurious upbringing has left them unprepared for their new responsibilities. For Tessa, there is an added but forbidden attraction at the mill. Foreman Will Broadbent, with his genuine understanding of the business and its workers, could not be more different from the dashing cousins. Yet, like the twins, he is hopelessly in love with this untameable girl.
Stephen Hawking is one of the most remarkable figures of our time, a Cambridge genius who has earned international celebrity as a brilliant theoretical physicist and become an inspiration and revelation to those who have witnessed his courageous triumph over disability. This is Hawking's life story by Kitty Ferguson, who has had special help from Hawking himself and his close associates and who has a gift for translating the language of theoretical physics for non-scientists.
"Not What it Appears"
Charlotte Drummond knows she has a duty to obey her father. Girls, especially well-bred upper-class ones, are expected to be submissive to the men in their lives. But Charlotte's father is a cruel man, viciously beating her and her brothers for the slightest reason. He even wants to marry her off, at just sixteen years old; to a man she does not love. Lion-hearted Charlotte wants to defy him but to protect her brothers from his fury she agrees to become the wife of Brooke Armstrong.
"Always give me an audiobook read by Carole Boyd"
One of the great novels of nineteenth-century England, Middlemarch is concerned with the blighted marriage of a young idealistic woman, but also presents a vivid portrait of England during the 1830s.
"Abridged / unabridged"
Vibrant and headstrong, Ally Pearce loves working on the Edith, her family's narrow boat, proving she's the equal of any man on the Leeds to Liverpool canal. Betsy, delicate, calculating and sensuously beautiful, wants only to become a 'lady' - and will use the most unladylike means to become one. When Dr. Tom Hartley enters the sisters' lives after a tragic accident both are attracted to him - but for very different reasons.