Related to: 'Sweet William'

Virago

A Quiet Life

Beryl Bainbridge

Seventeen-year-old Alan can't stand rows. But, though the Second World War has ended, peace hangs by a fine thread at home: his troublesome sister Madge creeps off for night-time liaisons with a German POW; their ineffectual father - broken by the hardships of war and an unhappy marriage - can't put food on the table despite the family's middle-class manners. Meanwhile, his mother pursues her escapist fantasies in romantic novels and love affairs. Obedient, faithful Alan is trapped among them all, the focus of their jibes and resentment, as inexorably the family heads towards disaster. Beryl Bainbridge's classic early novel is a vintage story of English domestic life, laced with sadness, irony and wicked black humour.

Virago

A Weekend With Claude

Beryl Bainbridge

An old snapshot shows a group of friends lounging in the sunshine, on a weekend in the country at the invitation of bearded, satyric Claude and his wife Julia. The girl in the centre is dreamy Lily, whose latest failed love affair forms the purpose of the weekend, as Lily's friends set out to help her ensnare an unwitting father for her unborn child. Next to her is Norman, a Marxist romantic hell-bent on seducing his milk-white hostess; behind them is old, persecuted Shebah; and, slightly apart, the young man on whom all hopes are pinned: quiet, pleasant Edward.Told through the fractured narratives of Claude, Lily, Shebah and Norman, in Beryl Bainbridge's first published novel a darkly comic weekend of friendship and failure unravels.

Virago

Harriet Said...

Beryl Bainbridge
Abacus

Mum and Mr Armitage

Beryl Bainbridge
Abacus

The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress

by Richard Beswick

Abacus' 40th Anniversary

A collection of 18 titles that celebrate Abacus's 40 year history of publishing influential, unique and trailblazing books that have shaped the reading landscape.

Abacus

The Bottle Factory Outing

Freda and Brenda spend their days working in an Italian-run wine-bottling factory. A work outing offers promise for Freda and terror from Brenda; passions run high on that chilly day of freedom, and life after the outing never returns to normal. Beryl Bainbridge will dazzle readers in this offbeat, haunting yet hilarious novel.

Abacus

An Awfully Big Adventure

Beryl Bainbridge

It is 1950 and the Liverpool reporatory theatre company is rehearsing its Christmas production of Peter Pan, a story of childhood innocence and loss. Stella has been taken on as assistant stage manager and quickly becomes obsessed with Meredith, the dissolute director. But it is only when the celebrated O'Hara arrives to take the lead, that a different drama unfolds. In it, he and Stella are bound together in a past that neither dares to interpret.

Abacus

Injury Time

Beryl Bainbridge
Abacus

Injury Time

Beryl Bainbridge
Abacus

Master Georgie

Beryl Bainbridge

When Master Georgie - George Hardy, surgeon and photographer - sets off from the cold squalor of Victorian Liverpool for the heat and glitter of the Bosphorus to offer his services in the Crimea, there straggles behind him a small caravan of devoted followers; Myrtle, his adoring adoptive sister; lapsed geologist Dr Potter; and photographer's assistant and sometime fire-eater Pompey Jones, all of them driven onwards through a rising tide of death and disease by a shared and mysterious guilt.Combining a breathtaking eye for beauty with a visceral understanding of mortality, Beryl Bainbridge exposes her enigmatic hero as tenderly and unsparingly as she reveals the filth and misery of war, and creates a novel of luminous depth and extraordinary intensity.

Abacus

The Dressmaker

Wartime Liverpool is a place of ration books and jobs in munitions factories. Rita, living with her two aunts Nellie and Margo, is emotionally na?ve and withdrawn. When she meets Ira, a GI, at a neighbour's party she falls in love almost as much with the idea of life as a GI bride as with the man himself. But Nellie and Margo are not so blind . . .

The summer must-read from Kate Furnivall

EXTRACT: SHADOWS ON THE NILE

Beautifully written, compulsively plotted and truly satisfying – Shadows on the Nile is a summer must-have for fans of Julia Gregson, Rosie Thomas and other sumptuous historical romances Indulge yourself with this sneak-peek at the first chapter now.

Abacus

Young Adolf

Beryl Bainbridge
Abacus

According To Queeney

Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge's latest novel is a masterly evocation of the last years of Dr Johnson, arguably Britain's greatest Man of Letters. The time is the 1770s and 1780s and Johnson, having completed his life's major work (he compiled the first ever Dictionary of the English Language) is running an increasingly chaotic life. Torn between his strict morality and his undeclared passion for Mrs Thrale, the wife of an old friend, ACCORDING TO QUEENEY reveals one of Britain's most wonderful characters in all his wit and glory. Above all, though, this is a story of love and friendship and brilliantly narrated by Queeney, Mrs Thrale's daughter, looking back over her life.A few of Johnson quotes:*Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures*No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money *When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life

by Amanda Carlson

Full Blooded

Read the first chapter of Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson, the start of an exceptionally fast-paced and irresistibly sexy new urban fantasy trilogy!

Abacus

An Awfully Big Adventure

It is 1950 and the Liverpool reporatory theatre company is rehearsing its Christmas production of Peter Pan, a story of childhood innocence and loss. Stella has been taken on as assistant stage manager and quickly becomes obsessed with Meredith, the dissolute director. But it is only when the celebrated O'Hara arrives to take the lead, that a different drama unfolds. In it, he and Stella are bound together in a past that neither dares to interpret.

by Val McDermid

The Vanishing Point - Chapter One

It's every parent's worst nightmare - your child abducted while you look on, helpless. But five-year-old Jimmy's life is shrouded in secrets, and his mother will be forced to make the most difficult choice of her life - a choice that will affect everyone around her...

Abacus

Fortune's Rocks

Anita Shreve

'In the time it takes for her to walk from the bathhouse at the seawall of Fortune's Rock, where she has left her boots and discreetly pulled off her stockings, to the waterline along which the sea continually licks the pink and silver sand, she learns about desire.' It is the summer of 1899, and Olympia Biddeford and her parents have retired from the heat of Boston to the coastal resort of Fortune's Rock. When the celebrated essayist John Haskell is invited to stay, no one foresees the affair that is to follow. What begins as the briefest of silences becomes a relationship that is both passionate and destructible - six hot weeks that will shape the rest of their lives.

Forty Years of Original Writing

Abacus

In 2013 Abacus will celebrate forty years of publishing, with the reissue of 18 of our classic books with new introductions by the authors. They include a wonderfully diverse range of books - from Douglas Coupland's Generation X to Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory and from Tom Holland's Rubicon to Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.