Undue Influence is the 19th novel by Anita Brookner, the Booker Prize-winning author of Hotel du Lac. Enigmatic Claire is 30 and lives alone. When she meets Martin Gibson, a faded scholar, she becomes inordinately interested. She is even more interested when she meets his wife, a far more spectacular personality. But the unexpected news of this woman's death releases emotions that were not entirely foreseen.
"An Affair that"
The blockbuster BBC Radio 4 adaptation of John Galsworthy’s classic family drama, featuring a star cast including Dirk Bogarde, Sir Michael Hordern, Diana Quick, Michael Williams and Amanda Redman. Galsworthy’s epic story chronicles the decline and fall of the Forsytes through almost 50 years of material triumph, emotional disaster, and a terrible feud that splits them asunder.
"Nervous breakdowns galore"
Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, The God of Small Things tells the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Amongst the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother’s factory, they try to craft a childhood for themselves amidst what constitutes their family: their lonely, lovely mother; their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist, and bottom-pincher); and their avowed enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand-aunt).
Anna Karenina is one of the most loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density. Tolstoy considered this book to be his first real attempt at a novel form, and it addresses the very nature of society at all levels - of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence.
Emma Harte was the heroine of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s multi-million copy bestseller, A Woman of Substance. Now she is eighty years old and ready to hand over the reins of the vast business empire she has created. To her favourite grandchild, Paula McGill Fairley, Emma bequeaths her mighty retailing empire with these heartfelt words: ‘I charge you to hold my dream.’
The enthralling sequel to Barbara Taylor Bradford’s universally loved novels, A Woman of Substance and Hold The Dream. Set in Yorkshire, Hong Kong and America, this remarkable contemporary novel continues the story of an unorthodox and endlessly fascinating family. As the spirit of Emma Harte lives on in her granddaughter, Paula O’Neill, an engrossing drama is played out in the glamorous arena of the wealthy and privileged, underscored by a cut-throat world of jealousy and treachery.
Mallory Keswick is a woman with the world at her feet. Then, out of the blue, that world is shattered by tragedy and she loses all that she holds dear. Torn by grief, Mal knows that she must find a way to rebuild. She flees to a village on the Yorkshire moors where she learns to draw on the deepest reserves of her spirit. Returning to Connecticut, Mal opens a cafe and shop selling gourmet food and kitchenware and turns it into a highly successful venture. >But there still remains an aching void - a grief that no individual, nor her new-found business acumen, can assuage.
Elizabeth Gaskell's compassionate, richly dramatic novel features one of the most original and fully-rounded female characters in Victorian fiction, Margaret Hale. It shows how, forced to move from the country to an industrial northern town, she develops a passionate sense of social justice, and a turbulent relationship with mill-owner John Thornton. North and South depicts a young woman discovering herself, in a nuanced portrayal of what divides people, and what brings them together.
"This was a fantastic abridgment!!!"
In 1905 a young kitchen maid leaves Fairley Hall. Emma Harte is sixteen, single and pregnant. By 1968 she is one of the richest women in the world - ruler of a business empire stretching from Yorkshire to the glittering cities of America and the rugged vastness of Australia. A Woman of Substance is as impossible to put down as it is to forget. This multi-million copy bestseller is truly a novel of our times.
Locked up at the age of 16 for the bloody murders of her employer and his housekeeper, Grace Marks was lucky not to have been hung. But the questions remain: innocent or guilty, instigator or innocent dupe? Sixteen years later, Dr Simon Jordan, an expert in amnesia, is given access to Grace, who now spends most of her days as a servant in the home of the prison Governor, befriended by the Governor's wife who believes in her innocence.
When career criminal Terry Greene is sentenced to life for a murder he didn't commit, his wife has two choices: to walk away from the criminal empire he'd built up, or to take it over - to become as big a gangster as her husband. So far as Samantha "Sam" Greene is concerned, there is no choice. All the family's assets are tied up in the business, and the family means more to her than anything else.
Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn't married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but here she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patrica aged five, greedy cross-patch Gillian who refused to be ignored, and Ruby....
For lecturer Sophie Rivers a writing course on the outskirts of Birmingham is a bit of a busman’s holiday. Still, creative inspiration might strike. But then, knowing Sophie’s luck, so might a murderer… She can hardly believe it when a fellow student is found dead in her room. And when a course tutor goes missing, it’s clear that one of the students might be interested in death as a reality rather than a literary concept. But who is responsible? Sophie can’t control her investigative instincts.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's classic poem, read by Diana Quick.
Written in blank verse, Aurora Leigh is Browning's self-styled ‘novel in verse', a first-person narration of the lives of Marian Erle and the eponymous Aurora.
Travelling across Florence, London, and Paris, and playing off the works of Anne Louise Germaine de Staël and George Sand, Aurora Leigh is one of the greatest poems of the 19th century.
A captivating story of family and friends, innocence and corruption. Four friends swore eternal friendship when all they had was each other. Now their dazzling careers, their seemingly successful lives, are to be disrupted by a devastating singer - and by the shadow of their past. Rosie Madigan is the angel… an Award-winning costume-designer; she is blessed with worldly goods yet troubled by personal commitments. Gavin Ambrose is the Hollywood megastar: talented and idolized, true love has eluded him.
Television war correspondent Nicky Wells is a media superstar. Courageous, beautiful, and renowned for her hard-hitting reports from the world’s most dangerous trouble spots, her life is shattered when she loses the only man she ever truly loved - a dashing English aristocrat, Charles Devereaux. Nicky seeks solace in her work and in her friendship with photographer Cleeland Donovan and, after a romantic interlude in Provence, begins to think she may fall in love again.
A compelling story of old love and old secrets. Sebastian, the 56 year old patriarch of the Locke clan, is handsome and charismatic - a man of immense charm and intelligence. He heads up the philanthropic Locke Foundation, funded by the vast family fortune built by his forefathers. He is seen as a beacon of light in a darkly violent world. That is why the police are so baffled when Sebastian is found dead under mysterious circumstances.
A forgotten past hides the key to the future. Meredith Stratton, a 44 year old owner of six elegant international inns, is about to celebrate her daughter’s engagement. But her happiness is threatened as she begins to suffer from a strange illness that baffles everyone. Her doctor cannot find a physical cause for her debilitating symptoms. Desperate for answers, Meredith seeks the help of a psychiatrist. Through therapy Meredith peels back the layers of her life to discover the truth behind her most careful creation - herself.
One of the great love stories of our time. Anna is attracted to the dashing Count Vronsky and has to make a hideous choice.