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A Part Of Having

Author: Sally Patricia Gardner

Publisher: Henry May Publications (2015)

Jock is a sailor who returns from the Falklands War suffering from (then unrecognised) PTSD. Moira, his wife, struggles to understand what has happened to him, and also protect their daughter, Cathy, from his violent mood swings. The adult Cathy must struggle to make sense of her childhood before she can find happiness. Burdened with guilt and the belief that she was the cause, rather than the victim, of her misfortunes, she endures an abusive relationship and isolation from those who love her before finding the courage to move forward. Largely set in the historic town of Hastings, in East Sussex, this is an optimistic exploration of the ability of the human spirit to overcome tragedy..

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A Perfect Life

Author: Raffaella Baker

Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (2014)

The Stone family live a fairy-tale existence in their home in rural Norfolk, complete with adorable children, glamorous parents and postcard-perfect seaside picnics. Nick, Angel and their family lead a charmed life. And yet beneath the surface all is not as it seems.

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A Piano In The Pyrenees

Author: Tony Hawks

Publisher: Ebury Press (2007)

'If you had to pick two things you wanted - if you had to - what would you pick?' I hesitated. This was a bigger question than usually got asked at these post-match debriefs. 'I suppose the honest answer would be,' I said, still accessing the last pieces of required data from a jumbled mind, 'meeting my soul mate, and finding an idyllic house abroad somewhere.' Inspired by breathtaking views and romantic dreams of finding love in the mountains, Tony Hawks impulsively buys a house in the French Pyrenees. Here, he plans to finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, untroubled by the problems of the world. In reality, the chaotic story of Tony's hopelessly ill-conceived house purchase reads like the definitive guide to how not to buy a house in France. It finds him flirting with the removal business in a disastrous attempt to transport his piano to France in a dodgy white van; foolishly electing to build a swimming pool himself; and expanding his relationship repertoire when he starts co-habiting, not with an exquisite French beauty, but with a middle-aged builder from West London. As Tony and his friends haplessly attempt to fit into village life, they learn more about themselves and each other than they ever imagined.

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A Place Called Home

Author: Dilly Court

Publisher: Arrow Books (2015)

Born out of wedlock when her mother was only fourteen, Lucy Pocket has spent all her life in the care of her grandmother, Eva. They dodge from one poor lodging house to another, always in debt and resorting to theft in order to exist. Until her wealthy paternal grandfather buys Lucy from Eva, determined to bring her up to be a lady. When her grandfather dies, his despicable nephew cheats Lucy out of her inheritance, and forces her to look after his three illegitimate children. Lucy is determined to make a life for herself and the children, and to search for her long-lost grandmother, creating the family she has always longed for.

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A Prefect's Uncle.

Author: P G Wodehouse

Publisher: (1903)

The action of the novel takes place at the fictional "Beckford College", a private school for boys; the title alludes to the arrival at the school of a mischievous young boy called Reginald Farnie, who turns out to be the uncle of the older "Bishop" Gethryn, a prefect, cricketer and popular figure in the school. His arrival, along with that of another youngster, Wilson, who becomes fag to Gethryn, leads to much excitement and scandal in the school, and the disruption of some important cricket matches.

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A Rogue's Life

Author: Wilkie Collins


A delightful tale of thwarted ambition and forbidden love, A Rogue's Life follows the fortunes of an endearing young man. Proffering his own take on picaresque storytelling-and with many a grain of truth for twenty-somethings today-this is Wilkie Collins at his entertaining best. Propelled into society by his ever-hopeful father, Frank Softly is introduced to a variety of professions in order to make his fortune. Not industrious by nature, however, Frank finds working life a challenge, and by his 25th birthday, he has failed medicine, portrait-painting, caricaturing, and even forgery. Disenchanted with life, he despairs of ever finding something to commit to-until he meets Alicia Dulcifer and her inexplicably wealthy father. The author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins is widely regarded as the originator of the detective novel...

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A Room With A View

Author: E M Forster

Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics (2006)

Forster's social comedy is a witty observation of the English middle classes as they holiday abroad in Florence. One of these tourists is Lucy Honeychurch, a young girl whose heart is awakened by her experiences in Italy.

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A Royal Duty

Author: Paul Burrell

Publisher: Penguin (2003)

Paul Burrell was much more than just a loyal servant to Diana, Princess of Wales: he was also her trusted friend and confidant. Intimately associated with the Royal family for more than twenty years, Paul Burrell worked for the Queen and Prince Charles before moving with Princess Diana to Kensington Palace. A Royal Duty in his insider account of a life devoted to the Royal family. Without sensationalism, he takes us behind palace doors to give us the real story of a life of service, and provides a fascinating picture of Diana as only he knew her. While remaining true to Palace and Princess alike. Paul Burrell reveals the extraordinary story of his royal duty.

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A Ruthless Need

Author: Catherine Cookson

Publisher: Bantam (1995)

Sergeant-Major Geoff Fulton rescues fourteen-year-old Lizzie Gillespie from a life as a prostitute and arranges for her to live and work at a country estate where she falls in love with Andrew Bradford-Brown, heir to the estate.

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A Scots Quair

Author: Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Publisher: Canongate Books (1995)

Chris Guthrie, torn between her love of the land and her desire to escape the narrow horizons of a peasant culture, is the thread that links these three works. In them, Gibbon interweaves the personal joys and sorrows of Chris' life with the greater historical and political events of the time. Sunset Song, the first and most celebrated book of the trilogy, covers the early years of the twentieth century, including the First World War. Chris survives, with her son Ewan, but the tragedy has struck and her wild spirit subdued. In Cloud Howe, as the minister's wife, Chris learns to love again, and we witness the cruel gossip and high comedy of small village life until, once again, Chris suffers a terrible loss. Grey Granite focuses on her son Ewan and his passionate involvement with justice for the common man. For Chris, with her intuitive strength, nothing lasts - only the land endures.

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