The Dark Flood Rises asks momentous questions as it entertains and enthralls. In her beautifully imagined new book, Margaret Drabble is at her incisive best, exploring the end of life with her trademark humour, composure and wisdom. Francesca Stubbs holds our hand as we take a walk through old age and death. Fran brings us to drinks with her dear friends, dropping off mouth-watering suppers for Claude, her ex-husband, warm and cosy in his infirmity.
Victoria Macara is 27 and lives alone in the old house on the corner that was once home to the family removal business. When the land is sold, she finds herself surrounded by a small estate of new properties called Victoria Square. The newcomers who move in around her bring with them their own dramas.
"Warm book with many interesting characters"
Pauline first became ill when she was 15. What seemed to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then life-threatening appendicitis. After a routine operation, Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly afterwards, convulsions started. But Pauline’s tests are normal: her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever. This may be an extreme case, but Pauline is not alone. As many as a third of people visiting their GPs have symptoms that are medically unexplained.
Dealing with office politics, conflict and difficult people at work without compromising your values and integrity, can be tricky. With case studies and examples, Savvy will help you understand colleagues' behaviour and power dynamics at work, and learn how to negotiate them successfully. Practical and insightful, Savvy will enable you to master the necessary skills to deal with difficult situations. It includes step-by-step advice on how to build a network, develop the right mind-set, handle conflict, manage your boss, influence others and deal with a bully.
"learn who you are dealing with"
Grace McAllister thought being a surrogate for her sister would be a truly selfless act. But secretly Grace longed for the baby inside her to be her own, conceived in passion with the only man she had ever loved. But that could never be.... Josh Kingsley couldn’t bear to watch the baby grow big in Grace’s belly, unable to share in the magic. He wished she and the child were his to take care of. But when tragedy struck, Josh rushed to be there for Grace and baby Posie. Could they be his life, his family?
"Enjoyable twists to book"
Mary Barton has a choice to make: either protect a member of her family or sit back and watch a terrible miscarriage of justice. Will she make the right decision in time?
The only friend Emmie Hatton has ever had at the Craven Home for Orphaned Children is Lucy, the little black kitten that visits her on the fire escape every day. But when the children of Craven Home are evacuated out of London because of the war, heartbroken Emmie is forced to leave sweet Lucy behind. The children are sent to Misselthwaite Manor, a countryside mansion full of countless dusty rooms and a kind, if busy, staff. Emmie even finds a gruff gardener and an inquisitive little robin that just might become new friends.
Queenie is only 14 and has been deserted by her mother. Set in Liverpool and Wales at the outbreak of World War II, this story explores themes of female friendship and betrayal from the perspective of a group of women of widely different ages.
In 1955, former nightclub manageress Ruth Ellis shot dead her lover, David Blakely. Following a trial that lasted less than two days, she was found guilty and sentenced to death. She became the last woman to be hanged in Britain, and her execution is the most notorious of hangman Albert Pierrepoint's 'duties'. Despite Ruth's infamy, the story of her life has never been fully told. Often wilfully misinterpreted, the reality behind the headlines was buried by an avalanche of hearsay.
"writer digs for deeper meaning than film version"
Susan Frobisher and Julie Wickham are turning 60. They live in a small Dorset town and have been friends since school. On the surface Susan has it all - a lovely house and a long marriage to accountant Barry. Life has not been so kind to Julie, but now, with several failed businesses and bad relationships behind her, she has found stability: living in a council flat and working in an old people's home.
Sixty is the new 40, we're constantly told. Or is it that 70 is the new 50? Either way, there's nothing middle of the road about middle age. From coping with bodies that are 'heading south' to rampant ageism in the workplace, this time in our lives, in the words of Bette Davis, is 'no place for sissies'.
"Depressed Point of View"
Marie may be 'getting on a bit' but it's certainly not getting her down. She's working part time so there are more hours each day to enjoy life. She has her friends. She has Pouncer, the cat, as well as a darling grandson. And she has Archie to share her bed.
As Britain stands alone against a monstrous enemy, the inhabitants of Pearl Street face hardship and heartbreak with courage and humour. The war touches each of them in a different way: for Annie Poulson, a widow, it means never-ending worry when her twin boys are called up and sent to France; Sheila Reilly's husband, Cal, faces the terror of U-Boat attacks; Eileen Costello is liberated from a bitter, loveless marriage when her husband is sent to Egypt.
Liverpool, 1915. Martha Rossi lives in a tenement with her husband and their five children. Despite working all the hours she can, the family doesn't have much money. So when Martha’s 14-year-old son, Joe, proudly enlists to fight for his country just to earn his mother an extra shilling, Martha is horrified. Despite her pleas and protests, Joe is dispatched to France within weeks. Unbeknown to them all, Joe’s act of selfless heroism will have huge implications for Martha and all the family.
It is the heady 60s in Liverpool, and the Flowers, the Baileys, and the McDowds are three very different families bound together by music. The children are determined to be part of the glamour that surrounds the city, so when Sean, Lachlan, and Max form The Merseysiders and Jeannie and Rita become part of The Flower Girls, they put their hearts and souls into achieving success.
This tells the often hilarious story of two middle-aged women, Pat and Sam, intent on fleeing hearth and home for a blissful, family-free fortnight of drawing and cooking classes – only to end up at leaky old Hartley House. There, the ever-resourceful Aunt Biddy is struggling to get her nephew Tom’s life back on track by opening his only asset as an idyllic country retreat.
When Laura Thyme goes to Baffington to visit her cousin's recently-ordained son, she witnesses a sudden death. A year later Rosemary and laura return to help with an ambitious Medieval Fayre, organised by the local celebrity, Franklin Danvers. Their task is to refurbish the neglected churchyard, but on their first morning they discover a body, pierced through the heart with an arrow.
The Prime children grew up in a bleak North Country farmhouse called the Beacon. Colin married and went to work on a neighbouring farm. Bernice married locally, too. May stayed behind at the Beacon, the spinster daughter looking after ageing parents. And then there was Frank, Frank who was always watching.Frank was the one who got away. He left for London and Fleet Street, but journalism was not enough. Frank wanted fame and money...
While searching for a stolen artifact, the notorious Mr R has his attention caught by the unlikeliest of treasures. Stumbling upon his dowdy cousin Elinor on the Continent, Theo Ravenhurst hardly believes his luck. His dangerous lifestyle appears to have finally caught up with him, and her family connections could be put to excellent use. Theo is convinced Elinor’s drab exterior disguises a fiery, passionate nature.
Tommy Carr was a kind man; Eve had been able to tell that after half an hour of knowing him. There had never been a day when he had not shown her some small kindness. The birth of a daughter, Jeannie Eliza, crowns the young couple’s happiness - just as her shockingly early death casts them low. But they do not need to talk about Jeannie because she remains with them, and their love does not change.