Related to: 'The Perpetual Curate'

Virago

Miss Marjoribanks

Margaret Oliphant

From the moment of her mother's death, Lucilla Marjoriebanks knows her vocation - a conviction based on the influence of morally uplifting novels and the 'sublime confidence in herself is the first necessity to a woman on a mission'. The usurping of Dr. Marjoriebanks as master of his own table and the assuaging of Nancy, his formidable housekeeper, are but small steps in Lucilla's scheme, for she intends nothing less than the transformation of Carlingford society. Lucilla's 'evenings' become the talk fo this quiet country town: not only are they an essential source of gossip and entertainment for old friends and neighbours of Grange Lane, but they are also the setting for some of Lucilla's most startling accomplishments. For it is on these occasions, under the watchful eye and guidance of this magnificent young woman, that reputations are made and lost and romances are pursued and undone . . .

Virago

Hester

Margaret Oliphant

Catherine Vernon is the head of the family bank, reputed in the Home Counties to be 'solid as the Bank of England'. Loved and revered by the people of Redborough, she is nevertheless seen as a none-too-benevolent despot by those of her family who, dependent upon her charity, live in the nearby 'Vernonry'. Catherine is a proud businesswoman, in firm control of her life, her work and her family. She lives with her young cousin Edward, grooming him to succeed her in the bank, loving him like a son. Then fourteen-year-old Hester and her widowed mother join the tenants of the Vernonry and Catherine finds she has met her match in this strong-willed girl. We watch as Hester grows up through the 1860s and 70s and as their silent confrontation comes to a head over their love for the same man: an absorbing struggle which alters forever the fortunes of Hester and the Vernon family.

Virago

The Harsh Voice

Rebecca West

In these four brilliant short novels set in America, England and Paris, Rebecca West explores the lives and relationships of rich women and men who are ruled by 'the harsh voice we hear when money talks, or hate'.There is Josie, a flower of American girlhood whose boundless ambition for wealth fatally loosens the bonds of her marriage to Corrie. There is Etienne de Sevenac, a dilettante French aristocrat whose courtly stratagems are no match for Nancy Sarle - a plain but powerful American businesswoman. There is Alice Pemberton, a sensible Englishwoman - the very salt of the earth - but a petty tyrant in her gracious Georgian home. And lastly there is Sam Hartley, an American businessman who has fought his way to riches with his wife at his side, but whose life is now haunted by an abiding vision of beautiful young women.

Abacus

Venice: Tales Of The City

Michelle Lovric
Sphere

Soft Touch

Maeve Haran

Like all her nice liberal friends Catherine Hope is determined to bring up her children with Tolerance, Understanding and without Fear. It seems to be working: Catherine's teenage daughter, Rachel, looks all set to get 'A's in everything.Suddenly Rachel wants to spend every weekend at her grandmother's country cottage, a place she had previously done everything she could to avoid. The reason? Marko: sultry, sexy countryside campaigner, out to save a threatened woodland from destruction, a woodland on the doorstep of Catherine's conventional and disapproving mother-in-law, Lavinia, who already reckons Catherine is a soft touch. What will Lavinia say apart from 'I told you so' about Rachel becoming a teenage road rebel?While Catherine's precious liberalism goes out of the window and she yearns to lock her daughter in her bedroom, Lavinia turns out to have hidden passions of her own. As the protest erupts around them, friendships are severed, loyalties divided and lives endangered. The dutiful daughter, model mother and gracious grandmother all find themselves changed for ever in this entertaining and moving story of the war between the generations.

Corsair

The Barnum Museum

Steven Millhauser

The Barnum Museum is a combination waxworks, masked ball, and circus sideshow masquerading as a collection of short stories. Within its pages, note such sights as: a study of the motives and strategies used by the participants in the game of Clue, including the seduction of Miss Scarlet by Colonel Mustard; the Barnum Museum, a fantastic, monstrous landmark so compelling that an entire town finds its citizens gradually and inexorably disappearing into it; a bored dilettante who constructs an imaginary woman - and loses her to an imaginary man! - and a legendary magician so skilled at sleight-of-hand that he is pursued by police for the crime of erasing the line between the real and the conjured.Ingeniously written and orchestrated, each exhibit in The Barnum Museum will compel you to continue, each story becoming a lure to the next

New Harbinger

Insecure in Love

Leslie Becker-Phelps
Sphere

The Verdict

Nick Stone

Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk, desperately trying to get promoted. And then he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman in his hotel suite.The only problem is that the accused man, Vernon James, turns out to be not only someone he knows, but someone he loathes. This case could potentially make Terry's career, but how can he defend a former friend who betrayed him so badly?With the trial date looming, Terry delves deeper into Vernon's life and is forced to confront secrets from their shared past that could have devastating consequences for them both. For years he has wanted to witness Vernon's downfall, but with so much at stake, how can Terry be sure that he is guilty? And what choices must he make to ensure that justice is done?Packed with twists, turns and an unforgettable trial scene, The Verdict is the most page-turning British legal thriller in many years.

Abacus

Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks

Christopher Brookmyre
Constable

Ruth Ellis: My Sister's Secret Life

Muriel Jakubait, with Monica Weller

The secret double-life of Ruth Ellis and the Establishment cover-up that led to her unjust hanging Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, was convicted fifty years ago for shooting her lover David Blakely. The case became a notorious part of British criminal history and was turned into the film, Dance with a Stranger. The story that has been perpetuated ever since is that of a peroxide tart who killed in a fit of passion. Yet, crucial questions were left unasked in the original trial. Ruth Ellis's sister, Muriel Jakubait, knew her longest of all. She has never given up her search for justice. Now after fifty years she has decided to reveal the hard facts about their shared upbringing, and seek to piece together the full true story of her sister. As she is at pains to point out, the jealous killer tag has never been substantiated. This is a story of power, espionage, lies, loyalty, poverty, sex and betrayal. It suggests a third man may have pulled the trigger for the fatal shots. And that he belonged to a web of espionage into which Ruth Ellis fell long before the shooting. Above all, it indicates that Ruth was being run by Stephen Ward, at least a decade before his name became public in the Profumo Scandal. Muriel's motive is about more than proving her sister Ruth's innocence. It's about reclaiming the right to tell the story of her own family, stripped bare of the many tabloid myths that have accrued over the decades. She shows that Ruth was somebody damaged at a very early age - who strove to make something of herself, only to be caught up in something much bigger and end up paying with her life.

Virago

Some Tame Gazelle

Barbara Pym
Virago

Vera Brittain: A Life

Mark Bostridge, Paul Berry
Robinson

A Brief Guide to Jeeves and Wooster

Nigel Cawthorne
Chapter One

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Read the first chapter of the latest book in Alexander McCall Smith's Sunday Philosophy Club series. The victim of an important art theft appeals to Isabel Dalhousie, Edinburgh philosopher and sleuth, for help.

Virago

August Folly

Angela Thirkell

It's August in the Barsetshire village of Worsted, and Richard Tebben, just down from Oxford, is contemplating the gloomy prospect of a long summer in the parental home. But the numerous and impossibly glamorous Dean family - exquisite Rachel, her capable husband and six of their nine brilliant children - have come for the holidays, and their hostess Mrs Palmer plans to rope everyone into performing in her disastrous annual play. Surrounded by the irrepressible Deans, Richard and his sister Margaret cannot help but have their minds broadened, spirits raised and hearts smitten.

Corsair

Boomsday

Christopher Buckley

Outraged over the mounting Social Security debt, Cassandra Devine, a charismatic 29-year-old blogger and member of Generation Whatever, incites massive cultural warfare when she politely suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves by age 75. Her modest proposal catches fire with millions of citizens, chief among them "an ambitious senator seeking the presidency." With the help of Washington's greatest spin doctor, the blogger and the politician try to ride the issue of euthanasia for Boomers (called "transitioning") all the way to the White House,over the objections of the Religious Right, and of course, the Baby Boomers, who are deeply offended by demonstrations on the golf courses of their retirement resorts.

Virago

Remember, Remember!

Winifred Holtby

This selection of Winifred Holtby's short stories is drawn from her two published volumes, TRUTH IS NOT SOBER and PAVEMENTS OF ANDERBY, which were published posthumously by her two friends, Vera Brittain and Hilda Reid and have been collected here in one volume for the first time.Brightly written, in an unselfconscious, matter-of-fact style, these stories are irreverent and entertaining, fulfilling what she saw as the short story's purpose in a reader's life:'nice for chance guests - easy to pick up and more tantalising for one's bedside than a novel'.Many of these stories are autobiographically based, and feature the Yorkshire farming community in Rudston where she was brought up. This was the setting for her most famous novel, SOUTH RIDING, also published posthumously. Some of the stories relate to the last years of her life when she was contending with the incessant headaches and nausea of Bright's disease.

Virago

Phoebe Junior

Margaret Oliphant

Piatkus

Across The Sapphire Seas

Heather Graves

To her parents' relief, Niamh is nothing if not respectable; Even though she works behind the bar at Tully McDiarmits' saloon, sober, high-necked gowns and her engagement to wealthy Hollis Maitland are quite enough to keep unruly customers at bay.Until the day she meets Judd Burden. Tall, broad-shouldered and with bold dark eyes that seem to see right through her prim facade, Niamh is both disturbed and fascinated by Judd -and she begins to stir again after long suppression in the name of duty.In their mutual fascination, neither Niamh nor Judd notice the powerful effect the name Burden has on Tully. And when Judd declares he intends to seek the uncle who disappeared with a mysterious inheritance, Tully must face losing the two things he holds most dear: his daughter and his business, founded on a secret which he fears must face the daylight once more . . .Discover Piatkus Entice: temptation at your fingertips - www.piatkusentice.co.uk

Little, Brown US

The Ornament Of The World

Maria Rosa Menocal

A rich and thriving culture where literature, science and religious tolerance flourished for 700 years is the subject of this enthralling history of medieval Spain.Living side by side in the Andalusian kingdoms, the 'peoples of the book' produced statesmen, poets and philosophers who influenced the rest of Europe in dramatic ways, giving it the first translations of Plato and Aristotle, love songs and secular poetry plus remarkable feats of architecture and technology. This evocative account explores the lost history whose legacy and lessons have a powerful resonance in today's world.