Ursula Holden - Tin Toys Trilogy - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781405511643
    • Publication date:17 Jan 2013
Books in this series

Tin Toys Trilogy

A Virago Modern Classic

By Ursula Holden

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

Ursula Holden's classic trilogy weaves a vivid, dramatic and mysterious story of three sisters coming of age in England and Ireland during the war years.

Born into an affluent family, Bonnie, Tor and Ula have been left to the feckless embrace of the cook and their nanny. Their father is dead. Their glamorous mother is away entertaining the troops.

When their infant brother falls ill and dies, the household disintegrates. In Tin Toys, Ula escapes with Cook, barely out of girlhood herself, and lands at the mansion of an enigmatic matriarch. In Unicorn Sisters, the three sisters are sent to a shabby English boarding school where the pupils are pitted against an anarchic gang of East End evacuees. A Bubble Garden finds the girls in Ireland, where they scrape a life in a crumbling, once-grand farmhouse, while their mother and her new husband are mired in their private traumas. A uniquely compelling and powerful coming-of-age classic.

Biographical Notes

Ursula Holden (b. 1921) grew up in Surrey and attended a boarding school on the south coast. During WWII she was with the WRNS, and when the war ended she went to Dublin, where she worked as a model at the art school and met her husband. They returned with their two children to London, where a third daughter was born. The marriage ended in 1970. Holden worked at various jobs, took in lodgers and began to write. Alan Ross, poet and editor of the London Magazine, published her first three books, Endless Race (1975), String Horses (1976) and Turnstiles (1977), and a further nine novels followed, including the Tin Toys trilogy in the mid-1980s. Now living in a care home in west London, Ursula Holden still writes daily and contributes to the Oldie. In 2010 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844088270
  • Publication date: 17 Jan 2013
  • Page count: 432
  • Imprint: Virago
Extraordinarily good in its penetration into a child's happiness and unhappiness. — Molly Keane
Seriously radiant. — The Times
Ursula Holden is a highly original writer . . . She has an abrupt, disconcerting wit. — Irish Times
Superb . . . the deceptively simple style conveys the dark undercurrents of violence, of developing sexuality, and the betrayals and corruptions of the adult world. — Daily Telegraph
Sphere

Insidious Intent

Val McDermid
Authors:
Val McDermid

Discover the breathtaking new novel from the inimitable queen of crime and number one bestseller Val McDermid, featuring two of the most iconic and unforgettable characters in crime fiction: Tony Hill and Carol Jordan'Murdered people don't kill themselves . . .'A quiet night on a country road. The stillness shattered by a car engulfed in flames, and a burned body discovered in the driver's seat. As the investigation unfolds, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill quickly realise that this is more than just a tragic accident. And so begins the hunt for a truly terrifying killer, someone who believes he is invisible, untraceable and untouchable.As other victims are found to have met the same terrible fate, and with more women at risk, Tony and Carol are drawn into a dark and twisted web of fear and revenge that will force them to question their own ideas of justice . . .'The queen of crime is still at the top of her game' Independent

Corsair

Jack the Ripper: Case Closed

Gyles Brandreth
Authors:
Gyles Brandreth

London. 1894. 'I am not a detective, chief constable.' 'No, but you are a poet, a freemason and a man of the world. All useful qualifications for the business in hand.' So says Police Chief Macnaghten to Oscar Wilde, in a Chelsea drawing room in the company of Arthur Conan Doyle. The business they are gathered to discuss is none other than the case of Jack the Ripper, the most notorious murderer in England. And thus the three men set out to solve one of the world's most famous mysteries - the ultimate truth about the identity of Jack the Ripper. Case Closed is Arthur Conan Doyle's account of the events of 1894, the year of the return of Jack the Ripper. Based on Oscar Wilde's real-life friendship with Conan Doyle and the extraordinary but little-known fact that in 1894 the detective in charge of the Jack the Ripper investigations was Oscar Wilde's neighbour in Tite Street, Chelsea, this is a revelatory and gripping detective story, combining the intrigue of a classic murder mystery with a witty and compelling portrait of one of the greatest characters of the Victorian age.

Fleet

Saints for all Occasions

J. Courtney Sullivan
Authors:
J. Courtney Sullivan

Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan - a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, privately preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora's favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago. A supremely moving novel, Saints for All Occasions explores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.

Little, Brown

The Stars are Fire

Anita Shreve
Authors:
Anita Shreve

The brilliantly gripping new novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Pilot's Wife (an Oprah's Book Club selection).Hot breath on Grace's face. Claire is screaming, and Grace is on her feet. As she lifts her daughter, a wall of fire fills the window. Perhaps a quarter of a mile back, if even that. Where's Gene? Didn't he come home? 1947. Fires are racing along the coast of Maine after a summer-long drought, ravaging thousands of acres, causing unprecedented confusion and fear. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her difficult and unpredictable husband Gene joins the volunteers fighting to bring the fire under control. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, the women watch in horror as their houses go up in flames, then walk into the ocean as a last resort. They spend the night frantically trying to save their children. When dawn comes, they have miraculously survived, but their lives are forever changed: homeless, penniless, and left to face an uncertain future.As Grace awaits news of her husband's fate, she is thrust into a new world in which she must make a life on her own, beginning with absolutely nothing; she must find work, a home, a way to provide for her children. In the midst of devastating loss, Grace discovers glorious new freedoms - joys and triumphs she could never have expected her narrow life with Gene could contain - and her spirit soars. And then the unthinkable happens, and Grace's bravery is tested as never before.

Orbit

The End of the Day

Claire North
Authors:
Claire North
Corsair

Peace and Conflict

Irene Sabatini
Authors:
Irene Sabatini
Virago

Fire from Heaven

Mary Renault
Authors:
Mary Renault

'The Alexander Trilogy contains some of Renault's finest writing. Lyrical, wise, compelling: the novels are a wonderful imaginative feat' SARAH WATERS'The Alexandriad is one of the twentieth century's most unexpectedly original works of art' GORE VIDALIn the first novel of her stunning trilogy, Mary Renault vividly imagines the life of Alexander the Great, the charismatic leader whose drive and ambition created a legend.Alexander's beauty, strength and defiance were apparent from birth, but his boyhood honed those gifts into the makings of a king. His mother, Olympias, and his father, King Philip of Macedon, fought each other for their son's loyalty, teaching Alexander politics and vengeance from the cradle. His love for the youth Hephaistion taught him trust, while Aristotle's tutoring provoked his mind and Homer's Iliad fuelled his aspirations. Killing his first man in battle at the age of twelve, he became regent at sixteen and commander of Macedon's cavalry at eighteen, so that by the time his father was murdered, Alexander's skills had grown to match his fiery ambition.Shortlisted for the 1970 Lost Booker Prize'This is not just a novel: it's also the best imagining we are ever likely to have of a man who tore up history. The language may seem a bit florid at first - a little too "historical novel" - but set all snobbery aside: this is wonderful, scholarly, top-flight stuff' - Emily Wilson, Guardian'The Alexander Trilogy stands as one of the most important works of fiction in the 20th century . . . it represents the pinnacle of [Renault's] career . . . Renault's skill is in immersing us in their world, drawing us into its strangeness, its violence and beauty. It's a literary conjuring trick like all historical fiction - it can only ever be an approximation of the truth. But in Renault's hands, the trick is so convincing and passionately conjured' - Antonia Senior, The Times

Virago

The Persian Boy

Mary Renault
Authors:
Mary Renault

'Renault's masterpiece. One of the greatest historical novels ever written' SARAH WATERSIn the second novel of her stunning trilogy, Mary Renault vividly imagines the life of Alexander the Great, the charismatic leader whose drive and ambition created a legend.The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander's life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas is sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but finds freedom with Alexander the Great after the Macedon army conquers his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander's mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us' Hilary Mantel'The Alexander Trilogy stands as one of the most important works of fiction in the 20th century . . . it represents the pinnacle of [Renault's] career . . . Renault's skill is in immersing us in their world, drawing us into its strangeness, its violence and beauty. It's a literary conjuring trick like all historical fiction - it can only ever be an approximation of the truth. But in Renault's hands, the trick is so convincing and passionately conjured. Nowhere is this more evident than in The Persian Boy . . . Bagoas is a brilliant narrator. Rendered unreliable by his passion, he is always believeable and sympathetic . . . His Persian background allows him to see the king and his Macedonians through the questioning eyes of an alien' - Antonia Senior, The Times

Abacus

The Sleeper In The Sands

Tom Holland
Authors:
Tom Holland
Abacus

The Bone Hunter

Tom Holland
Authors:
Tom Holland

An heir of John Buchan and Rider Haggard, Holland is a storyteller, dealing in mysteries and marvels ... he holds the reader's attention in an iron grip' DAILY TELEGRAPH1878. The golden days of dinosaur discoveries. In the still-Wild West, fossils of a monstrous size are being uncovered by America's two greatest bone-hunters, Professors Marsh and Cope. Caught in the bitterest of feuds, their rival gangs steal or smash up each other's collections of bones, and clash murderously in the badlands of the West. Back in New York, the two professors are sniffing out tantalising rumours of the ultimate find. Also lured by these hints are enigmatic English scientist Captain Dawkins and Miss Lilian Prescott, a naïve but wilful heiress. Drawn into a web of corruption and murder, they are forced on a desperate hunt for a box of mysterious fossils - a quest filled with danger, adventure and extraordinary discoveries.

Abacus

The Vampyre

Tom Holland
Authors:
Tom Holland

Infamous poet Lord Byron comes to life with incendiary brilliance in this spellbinding blend of gothic imagination and documented fact. Wandering in the mountains of Greece, the supreme sensualist is drawn to the beauty of a mysterious fugitive slave; soon he is utterly entranced, and his fate is sealed. He embarks on a life of adventure even his genius could not have foreseen; chosen to enjoy powers beyond those any vampire has ever known, Byron traverses the centuries and enters a dark, intoxicating world of long-lost secrets, ancient arts and scorching excesses of evil. But Byron's gift is also his torment: an all-consuming thirst that withers life at the root, damning all those he loves.With its impeccable scholarship and breathtaking storytelling, THE VAMPYRE is a wonderful combination of fact and fantasy.

Sphere

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Mitch Albom
Authors:
Mitch Albom

THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN is a wonderfully moving fable that addresses the meaning of life, and life after death, in the poignant way that made TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE such an astonishing book. The novel's protagonist is an elderly amusement park maintenance worker named Eddie who, while operating a ride called the 'Free Fall', dies while trying to save a young girl who gets in the way of a falling cart that hurtles to earth. Eddie goes to heaven, where he meets five people who were unexpectedly instrumental in some way in his life. While each guide takes him through heaven, Eddie learns a little bit more about what his time on earth meant, what he was supposed to have learned, and what his true purpose on earth was. Throughout there are dramatic flashbacks where we see scenes from his troubled childhood, his years in the army in the Philippines jungle, and with his first and only love, his wife Marguerite. THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN is the perfect book to follow TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE. Its compellingly affecting themes and lyrical writing will fascinate Mitch Albom's huge readership.

Abacus

The Waiting Game

Bernice Rubens
Authors:
Bernice Rubens
Abacus

Going Into A Dark House

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

Jane Gardam

Jane Gardam has been awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime's contribution to the enjoyment of literature; has twice won a Whitbread Award and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the author of A Visit From The Goon Squad, The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her non-fiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.

Julian Rathbone

Julian Rathbone is the author of many books, including the hugely acclaimed THE LAST ENGLISH KING, KINGS OF ALBION and the Booker shortlisted JOSEPH.

Linda Howard

Linda Howard is an award-winning NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author. She lives in Alabama with her husband and one golden retriever.

Mary Larkin

Mary Larkin was born in Belfast and spent 40 happy years there before moving to the North East of England.

Robert Winder

Robert Winder was literary editor of the INDEPENDENT for 5 years. He has written two novels.