Flora spends her days happily wandering her endless labyrinth of a house, breathing with childhood memories and pulsing with dreams. She is plagued, however, by an elusive yearning to capture the security anchors of her childhood - her dad who’s passed away, and the book whose title she can’t remember.
Only a few miles away, and yet worlds apart, two very different women are on their quest for identity and expression. Invisible threads of a long forgotten bond bind Flora to the local loner in town. Brigit - the ‘Red Woman’ – finally has the freedom to drink herself into a creative fervour, and only becomes more enthused by the arrival of a portent in her flat.
This ‘White Woman’ is the final strand in the braid that weaves these women together. As the boundaries between dream and reality become increasingly blurred, a mesmerizing search for identity just may require a sacrifice. Before it can become complete, something - or someone - has to give.
Bang the Drum Slowly is the second in a series of four novels written by Mark Harris that chronicles the career of baseball player Henry W. Wiggen. This series is among the finest novels ever written to use baseball as a theme. Published in 1956, the book is a simple, moving testament to the immutable power of friendship. The title page in the novel reads; “by Henry W. Wiggen / Certain of His Enthusiasms Restrained by Mark Harris”, the author’s personal touch that tells us (the reader) that we are about to enter a genial, conversational first-person story.
Wiggen is a gifted pitcher in the major leagues, playing for a team that includes a mediocre catcher named Bruce Pearson--a slow-talking Georgia boy who tries the patience of the team. Pearson has a secret; he has been diagnosed with Hodgkins’ disease which threatens not only his life but also the baseball career that he so desperately wants. When Wiggen learns of Pearson’s illness, their casual acquaintanceship deepens into a profound friendship. Wiggen fights heroically to keep Pearson on the team, saving his friend from being sent down to the minors, and he also rallies other teammates to help his friend. The miracle is that Pearson is transformed into a better ballplayer... but the miracle is brief for the man’s time has already run out.
In lesser hands, this story could be cloying or overly sentimental, but Harris writes with a gentle, unassuming dignity. His freewheeling colloquial style verges on an easy stream of consciousness. Wiggen is an engaging character and his observations are lucid and refreshing. The characters are wonderfully realized, from the drawling Pearson to team manager Dutch Schnell. It may be that what makes Bang the Drum Slowlya great novel is that it is not entirely a sports novel but also a warm human comedy complete with believable real-life tragic events, set in the familiar, magical world of American baseball.
Bang the Drum Slowly is #14 on the Sports Illustrated Greatest 100 Sports books.
Gritty, heartrending and unputdownable – the story of two sisters sent first to an English, then an Australian orphanage in the aftermath of World War II.
Rita and Rosie Stevens are only nine and five years old when their widowed mother marries a violent bully called Jimmy Randall and has a baby boy by him. Under pressure from her new husband, she is persuaded to send the girls to an orphanage – not knowing that the papers she has signed will entitle them to do what they like with the children.
And it is not long before the powers that be decide to send a consignment of orphans to their sister institution in Australia. Among them – without their family's consent or knowledge – are Rita and Rosie, the throwaway children.
What readers are saying about THE THROWAWAY CHILDREN:
'I haven't felt so immersed in a book in a very long time and have recommended to just about everyone'
'A truly powerful book'
This far-ranging look at the characters found in Celtic and British myth and poetry is a great resource for those interested in the gods and heroes of ancient Briton. With sections on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the Gaelic gods, and tales of the druids, this comprehensive study of Celtic myth and legend will delight scholars and the general reader alike.Drawing on the early writings of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Charles Squire ensured his study was well-researched and correctly attributed. However, this is no dry tome of academic research; the reader will find tales both beautiful and moving here. The gods of Ireland are honoured in the animated telling of their stories and only give way to the enchantments of heroes such as Arthur Pendragon.
A new emotional and gritty drama from the bestselling author of The Throwaway Children.
After her mother's death, twenty-year-old Sophie Ross is left orphaned, with only her erstwhile nursemaid and faithful friend, Hannah for company. Penniless and little chance of an income, she looks for work as a governess in London to avoid destitution.
But unbeknown to Sophie, her mother instructed Hannah to post a letter to Trescadinnick House in Cornwall upon her death. The letter will be the catalyst that changes Sophie's life forever as she learns of her mother's doomed romance and family she left behind in Cornwall.
The Penvarrow family welcomes Sophie into their fold, but the new life she's built is threatened by secrets and lies that soon come to light...
What readers are saying about Miss Mary's Daughter:
'Diney Costeloe's books are always first on my list, she writes such wonderful stories'
'I loved everything about this novel. It's an intriguing plot with a well-rounded group of characters and a beautifully written setting'.
From bestselling author Diney Costeloe, a young woman fights to save a treasured war memorial and uncovers a tragic story that reverberates from World War I to the present day.
'This is our secret, pet. You mustn't tell anyone about us planting this tree for dad. It's our secret.'
1921. In the sleepy village of Charlton Ambrose, eight ash trees stand as a timeless memorial to the men killed in the Great War. On a dark and chilly night, a ninth tree appears. Who planted it and why? And who was 'the unknown soldier' for whom it is marked?
2001. Eighty years later, the memorial is under threat from developers. Local reporter, Rachel Elliott, is determined to save it, and to solve the mystery of the ninth tree. The trail will take her into the dark heart of her own family history; to a great, but tragic, love; and to a secret that has been kept since the war to end all wars.
This ebook edition was previously published as The Lost Soldier.
This title is published in paperback as The Lost Soldier.
What readers are saying about THE NURSES OF ST CROIX:
'I didn't want it to end. It is beautifully written and pulls on every emotional string in our bodies'
'I loved reading this ... Diney Costeloe is a fabulous author ... I really felt as though I was living the story with the characters. I definitely recommend this book!'
'Diney Costeloe is an awesome writer, all her books are just wonderful and unputdownable'
A couple find themselves at a fading, grand European hotel full of eccentric and sometimes unsettling patrons in this "faultlessly elegant and quietly menacing" allegorical story that examines the significance of shifting desires and the uncertainty of reality (Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness).
An American couple travel to a strange, snowy European city to adopt a baby, who they hope will resurrect their failing marriage. This difficult journey leaves the wife, who is struggling with cancer, desperately weak, and her husband worries that her apparent illness will prevent the orphanage from releasing their child.
The couple check into the cavernous and eerily deserted Borgarfjaroasysla Grand Imperial Hotel where the bar is always open and the restaurant serves thirteen-course dinners from centuries past. Their attempt to claim their baby is both helped and hampered by the people they encounter: an ancient, flamboyant chanteuse, a debauched businessman, an enigmatic faith healer, and a stoic bartender who dispenses an addictive, lichen-flavored schnapps. Nothing is as it seems in this mysterious, frozen world, and the longer the couple endure the punishing cold the less they seem to know about their marriage, themselves, and life itself.
What Happens at Night is a "masterpiece" (Edmund White) poised on the cusp of reality, told by "an elegantly acute and mysteriously beguiling writer" (Richard Eder, The Boston Globe).
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