Neil Gaiman,Sarah Salway,Booker Prize
‘I did happen to read the book when it came out and I was quite interested in the whole Richard Allen cult... There was a tremendous air of intensity... something interesting grabbed me about the whole thing.’ MORRISSEY
‘Once enough of those to whom it appeals understand its attraction we will have superceded this society.’ Stewart Home
Down below, like some gigantic monster from Earth’s dark past, a moving van waited in the mist. Judging the distance as best he could, Joe leaped into space . . .
Apples and Prayers
'A richly imagined novel. Andy Brown evokes a world that is both beguiling and filled with danger.' Susanna Jones
The Last Girl
'Wonderful... that rare novel which no one, having once read, will be able to forget.' Alan Sillitoe
'A tumultuous tale of friendship distorted by love, greed and the barbaric effects of war... a captivating read.' Yorkshire Post
The Secret Arts
'An incredible new voice; witty and wise.' Adele Parks
But the servants! Anything might happen to them. They might go in a train to Woolwich and meet the love of their lives, or be murdered almost for the asking. Not that one wanted to be murdered exactly, but there was frustration in being denied the possibility.
‘The trouble with you, Anne, is that you’re always imagining things.’ Who had said that? Probably mother. Or the governess before she left to get married. How disagreeable, and it was all the fault of the sub-conscious. . . . Why didn’t the sub-conscious ever turn up things like: ‘Anne, how beautiful you are looking today.’
‘As far as I am concerned, Aunt Violet, I don’t want another penny of your money. I can go out and earn my bread’ and she saw a distinct picture of herself working her fingers to the bone and being seduced by goodness knows whom.
As I waited for the carriage I realized that whereas before I had been accustomed to think of her as a selfish and often foolish woman I now regarded her as a veritable ogress.
She wondered how Lady Masters got her old parlour maid to carry the coffee right across the lawn. But, of course, Lady Masters got things simply by always having had them and by taking it for granted that she always would have them.
At the end of the war, Mrs. Midge stayed on. While the war lasted Mrs. Custance had accepted her as part of the war-effort; it was only in the past year or two that Mrs. Midge had been transferred to the category which Mrs. Custance described as “people we could manage without.”
A widow, at an age when birthdays are best forgotten, with no children to occupy her mind, can be very lonely. Julia Dunstan knew she was more fortunate than most widows, not merely because she was prosperous—as widows go—but because she had always taken an interest in other people.
“I wonder what Mr. Heritage thought of his godson,” she said quickly.
“Rather clumsy, but quite good manners,” Edith remarked. “And a well-shaped skull.”
These were her own views, but she took it for granted that sensible people would agree with her.
“My last secretary was thirty-five,” old M. said gloomily, “and no more sense than a child of ten. Or else she wasn’t all there. You all there?” he asked suddenly, giving Maud a searching look. “No banging your head on the table? No throwing the china at me? Hey?”
“The best thing one can say about the Priory is that it would have made a splendid ruin,” she stated. “If only the Seamarks had left it alone . . .”
‘Heartrending but irresistible.’ Rosaleen Whateley, LIVERPOOL DAILY POST
‘You are a virgin?’
‘How dull! What’s the use of being a woman if you’re a virgin?’
‘One has to begin sometime,’ I agreed.
‘I can’t go back. I’d rather die—I’d rather be dead.’
The peacock displayed himself and paraded the lawn, sometimes pausing to look up at the sky.
Waiting? Listening? Guiding. No. Signalling.
This book was written for those who don’t despise children’s parties, Edwardian actresses, dancing classes and the scent of lilac over sun-warmed fences.
In the schoolroom in Lowndes Square, a child, in her ugly, unsuitable frock of plum-coloured satin, cut down when discarded from one of her mother’s, bent over the cutting out of a doll and its cardboard wardrobe, and shivered as she worked.
Reading The Ceiling
‘a warmly informed
portrait of modern African womanhood.’ Observer
'Indispensable, the Absolute Beginners of Acid House' Irvine Welsh
“Everything that’s happening to us—yes, everything—is to be regarded as a lark. See? This is my last word. This. Is. Going. To. Be. A. Lark.”
“Is Florence looking after the house all right? I thought it was rather touching of her to say she would like to stay and be bombed with you. Mind you put her underneath when you’re lying down flat in an air-raid.”
Oxford, it appeared, if it did not seem to have fitted her for any precise occupation, had at least unfitted her for a great many things.
‘It’s a storm in a tea-cup, of course, but then we happen to live in a tea-cup!’
Getting the Picture
'Sarah Salway is an astonishingly smart writer. Her fiction is always beautifully structured, touching and clever.' Neil Gaiman
Iain stood for a few minutes on the little bridge that crossed the burn and looked at the house—he felt that he had betrayed it. No people save his own had ever lived in the house, and now he had sold it into slavery. For three months it would shelter strangers beneath its roof, for three months it would not belong to him.
Frances was free. She had enough money for her holiday, and when it was over she would find useful work. Her plans were vague, but she would have plenty of time to think things out when she got to Cairn. One thing only was certain—she was never going back to prison again.
There is so much War News in News Bulletins, in Newspapers, and so much talk about the war that I do not intend to write about it in my diary. Indeed my diary is a sort of escape from the war . . . though it is almost impossible to escape from the anxieties which it brings.
Miss Clutterbuck would like me to run the bar—no, it can’t be that—run the car, which has seen its best days but is still useful for shopping. Grace has told her I am patient and tactful, so (as she herself is neither the one nor the other) she thinks I am the right person to look after the social side.
Sometimes it is difficult to see clearly in what direction one’s duty lies (and especially difficult for people like myself with a husband in one part of the world and children in another) but Tim and I, talking it over together in cold blood, decided that I ought to go home.
We might be living in the first chapter of one of my own detective stories. A woman lay dead upstairs; in another bedroom a man was having hysterics; in the kitchen a grey parrot was imitating their voices; and in the sitting-room the pugs, terror in their popping eyes. Henry’s sisters would join us, and Mr Galvain; and I, the stranger, sat waiting to meet them.