Forced by the sudden death of her father to act as paid companion to the comical - and tiresome - Mrs Van Hopper, our herione meets handsome widower Maxim de Winter on a trip to Monaco and accepts his sudden marriage proposal. But she is unprepared for the shadows cast by his past.
This book is the very simple story of the love affair between Miss Helene Hanff of New York and Messrs Marks and Co, sellers of rare and secondhand books, at 84 Charing Cross Road, London'. DAILY TELEGRAPH Told in a series of letters in 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD and then in diary form in the second part THE DUCHESS OF BLOOMSBURY STREET, this true story has touched the hearts of thousands.
This is the first of Maya Angelou's five volumes of autobiography, in which she evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of a white skin and suffers the trauma of rape by her mother's lover.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY A. S. BYATT 'During that burning day when we were crossing Iowa, our talk kept returning to a central figure, a Bohemian girl whom we had both known long ago. More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood . . . His mind was full of her that day. He made me see her again, feel her presence, revived all my old affection for her.' My Antonia is the unforgettable story of an immigrant woman's life on the Nebraska plains, seen through the eyes of her childhood friend, Jim Burden. The beautiful, free-spirited, wild-eyed girl captured Jim's imagination long ago and haunts him still, embodying for him the elemental spirit of the American frontier. In this powerful and astonishing novel, Willa Cather created one of the most winning yet thoroughly convincing heroines in American fiction.
This tale of a woman's quest for fulfilment and self-discovery follows the story of Janie whose experiences make her recognize that husbands are just "things to drape her dreams over".
**THE BRAND-NEW NOVEL BY THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER** A woman visits a friend with terminal cancer. Brilliant, strong-willed and alone, the friend, facing death, makes a momentous request. Will she accompany her on a holiday where she will, without warning one day, take a lethal pill to end her life on her own terms? Shaken and grieving, she finds the strength to agree. What follows is an extraordinary story - profound, surprising and often funny - of a lifelong friendship given the ultimate challenge; to witness its end. Utterly of our moment and timeless, What Are You Going Through is a deeply moving affirmation of life in its current existential threat and in its ordinary tragedies - the loss, loneliness, and the love that yet survives.
In the bawdy music halls of the late-19th century, Nan is captivated by Kitty Butler, a male impersonator. She manages to meet her heroine and soon after becomes her dresser. Heading for the bright lights of London they form a double act while privately, a love affair begins. A Virago "V".
By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of economic and social collapse. Living in their car, surviving on tips from Charmaine's job at a dive bar, they're increasingly vulnerable to roving gangs and in a rather desperate state. So when they see an advertisement for the Positron Project in the town of Consilience - a 'social experiment' offering stable jobs and a home of their own - they sign up immediately. All they have to do in return for this suburban paradise is give up their freedom every second month, swapping their home for a prison cell. At first, all is well. But slowly, unknown to the other, Stan and Charmaine develop a passionate obsession with their counterparts, the couple that occupy their home when they are in prison. Soon the pressures of conformity, mistrust, guilt and sexual desire take over, and Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.
Now a major motion picture starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter and Charlotte Rampling, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 'Sarah Waters's masterly novel is . . . gripping, confident, unnerving and supremely entertaining' Hilary Mantel In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, its owners - mother, son and daughter - struggling to keep pace. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.
`Grace and intelligence ...[her work] defines universal truths about what it means to be human' - President Obama Marilynne Robinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the American National Humanities Medal, returns to the world of Gilead with Jack, the final in one of the great works of contemporary American fiction. Jack tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the beloved and grieved-over prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister in Gilead, Iowa, a drunkard and a ne'er-do-well. In segregated St. Louis sometime after World War II, Jack falls in love with Della Miles, an African-American high school teacher, also a preacher's child, with a discriminating mind, a generous spirit, and an independent will. Their fraught, beautiful story is one of Robinson's greatest achievements.
The book that inspired Park Chan-wook's astonishing film The Handmaiden. Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize London 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves - fingersmiths - under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her 'family'. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue's fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.
Philip Ashley is orphaned at an early age and raised by his bachelor uncle Ambrose, who falls in love and marries while travelling in Italy and dies there in suspicious circumstances. When Ambrose's widow turns up in England, Philip is drawn to her, but might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death.
More than twenty-five years ago The Women's History of the World , by the brilliant historian, journalist and academic, Rosalind Miles, burst upon the world. It was instantly lauded and applauded by everyone from A.S. Byatt ('Witty, balanced, inexorable . . . and splendid') to the Washington Post ('an inspiration'). The book went on to be a longstanding Sunday Times bestseller, was translated into almost 40 foreign languages and became a New York Times bestseller. Now it is time for Rebel Women: All you wanted to know about w omen's history from 1800 to the modern day. This is history as made by women: famous, infamous and little known, whose actions changed the course of the world. We begin with the French Revolution when one woman took on the Fraternite of man, then it's off to America to round up the other rebels who paved the way, fighting side by side for freedom with their men. In Australia we celebrate a mass mooning by female convicts of Queen Victoria's Vice-Regent and his lady wife, and the dogged, often desperate courage of all the women who dared to think that they could change the world. Along the way we highlight the age-old cruelties and injustices suffered by women worldwide which the modern age has done little to challenge or change like forced marriage and femicide, while recording every milestone in the long march of women towards equality and the full life. In a colourful pageant of astonishing women, we track through to the birth of modern womanhood with the one small question of the Swinging Sixties which changed everything: Betty Friedan's "Is This all?" Women in space, women in jail, women in-skirts, women in burkas, women in power - all female life is there. We end in the current day - breathless but thrilled with what women can and have and will do. Brave, brilliant, unrivalled in its wit and erudition, Rebel Women is a hugely readable book.
This novel follows three women in Toronto whose lives are badly affected by the mischief of their former university friend. When she dies they assume that their troubles are over, but then she reappears, apparently more malevolent than ever. Other works by the author include "The Handmaid's Tale".
In 1967, 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen was sent to McLean Hospital to be treated for depression and spent most of the next two years there. In this, her memoir of her time there, she questions our definitions of sane and insane, and offers vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers.
'One of the funniest books I've ever read' - Gore Vidal * The Dud Avocado gained instant cult status on first publication and remains a timeless portrait of a woman hellbent on living. It is, as the Guardian observes, 'one of the best novels about growing up fast'. Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It's the 1950s, she's young, and she's in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man (which fizzles out when she realises he's single and wants to marry her); nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted "citizens of the world"; an entanglement with a charming psychopath; and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador. But an education like this doesn't come cheap. Will our heroine be forced back to the States to fulfill her destiny as a librarian, or can she keep up her whirlwind Parisian existence? * A champagne cocktail ... Rich, invigorating, and deceptively simple to the taste ... One falls for Sally Jay Gorce from a great height from the first sentence - Observer As delightful and delicate an examination of how it is to be twenty and in love and in Paris as I've ever read - Sunday Times I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed The Dud Avocado. It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm). - Groucho Marx Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley ; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
'A truly great book. It is beautifully written, shrewdly observed and deftly crafted, but the novel's real concern is what it means for a woman to live an authentic life' Elizabeth Day A chance encounter with the man who enchanted her as a teenager leads Olivia Curtis into to a forbidden love affair. He is now married, and Olivia's life changes to one of secret meetings, brief phone calls and snatched liaisons in anonymous hotel rooms. Years ahead of its time when first published in 1936, this subtle and powerful novel shocked it readers with its searing honesty and passionate portrayal of clandestine love. * Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley ; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
This novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Little Stranger , is a brilliant 'page-turning melodrama and a fascinating portrait of London of the verge of great change' ( Guardian ) It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the 'clerk class', the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be. This is vintage Sarah Waters: beautifully described with excruciating tension, real tenderness, believable characters, and surprises. It is above all a wonderful, compelling story. 'You will be hooked within a page . . . At her greatest, Waters transcends genre: the delusions in Affinity (1999), the vulnerability in Fingersmith (2002), the undercurrents of social injustice and the unexplained that underlie all her work, take her, in my view, well beyond the capabilities of her more seriously regarded Booker-winning peers. But The Paying Guests is the apotheosis of her talent; at least for now. I have tried and failed to find a single negative thing to say about it. Her next will probably be even better. Until then, read it, Flaubert, Zola, and weep' -Charlotte Mendelson, Financial Times