By Louisa May Alcott
'Mothers can forgive anything! Tell me all, and be sure that I will never let you go, though the whole world should turn from you.'It has been ten years since Jo and her husband founded their school for orphans. The first of Jo's boys are now young men, making their way in the world. Nat is a musician, touring Europe and prone to romantic entanglements. Emil is a sailor, surviving shipwreck and disaster. Dan is looking for adventure, but finding only trouble. Through life's highs and lows, they will always be welcomed with open arms at Plumfield, for no matter how many years go by, they will always be Jo's boys. Also available in Virago Children's Classics are Little Women, Good Wives and Little Men.
By Daphne Du Maurier
In the bitter November wind, Mary Yellan crosses Bodmin Moor to Jamaica Inn. Her mother's dying wish was that she take refuge there, with her Aunt Patience. But when Mary arrives, the warning of the coachman echoes in her mind: Jamaica Inn has a desolate power, and behind it's crumbling walls Patience is a changed woman, cowering before her brooding, violent husband. When Mary discovers the inn's dark secrets, the truth is more terrifying than anything she could possibly imagine, and she is forced to collude in her uncle's murderous schemes. Against her will, she finds herself powerfully attracted to her uncle's brother, a man she dares not trust.
By Lisa St. Aubin De Teran
Written by the winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Gregory Award, this family drama features a trinity of women bound by compulsion and secrecy. Joanna, an abomination to her mother, discovers the inheritance that has shadowed her family for generations.
Jane of Lantern Hill
By L. M. Montgomery
Jane and her mother live in a gloomy old mansion, where their lives are ruled by her ovebearing grandmother. For most of her life Jane has believed that her father is dead. Then, one dull April morning, a letter comes. Not only is her father alive and well, but he wants Jane to spend the summer with him on Prince Edward Island. For a blissful summer she lives at her father's cottage on Lantern Hill, making friends, having adventures and discovering that life can be wonderful after all. And she dares to dream that there could be such a house where she, Mother and Father could live together without Grandmother's disapproval - a house that could be called home.
A Jury Of Her Peers
By Elaine Showalter
Fascinating, incisive, intelligent and never afraid of being controversial, Elaine Showalter introduces us to more than 250 writers. Here are the famous and expected names, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Willa Cather, Dorothy Parker, Flannery O'Connor, Gwendolyn Brooks, Grace Paley, Toni Morrison, and Jodi Picoult. And also many successful and acclaimed yet little-known writers, from the early American bestselling novelist Catherine Sedgwick to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan Glaspell.A JURY OF HER PEERS is an irresistible invitation to discover great authors never before encountered and to return to familiar books with a deeper appreciation. It is a monumental work that enriches our understanding of American literary history and culture.
The Joy Of Eating
By Jill Foulston
Beatrix Potter wove one of her most malicious tales around the roly-poly pudding. Colette counted the nuts she would pick before falling asleep in the French countryside. Dorothy Wordsworth noted her pie-making sessions in her diary and Anne Frank observed the eating habits of her companions in hiding. Food is a constant in our lives, and it has always been a basic ingredient of women's writing - in household books, cookbooks, diaries, letters and fiction. In this, the first anthology to concentrate on international food writing by women, you can go on a picnic with Monica Ali, learn about Frida Kahlo's wedding feast and indulge your appetites with Edwidge Danticat and Barbara Pym. Try making Elisabeth Luard's Afghan Betrothal Custard, Martha Washington's marzipan birds or Nigella Lawson's favourite comfort food. And why not sneak into the literary kitchens of Banana Yoshimoto, Emily Brontë and Angela Carter?Something's cooking. . .
By Rebecca West
Ellen Melville is a beautiful suffragette who, at seventeen, wants passionately to experience all that life can give her. From her abandoned, impoverished mother she inherits only a capacity for love and this she freely gives when she meets Richard Yaverland, charming, experienced, a man of the world. But Richard is the illegitamate son of a powerful and frustrated woman. Marion Yaverland uses her own betrayal by Richard's father to imprison her son, creating a murderous bond which destroys everything it touches. The strugges of Ellen and Richard to survive the sins of their fathers takes its inevitable course: giving freely to her passionate lover, Ellen commences a re-enactment of all that has gone before.
A Jest Of God
By Margaret Laurence
'Rachel- is it serious?'...So that's it. I ought to have seen. She's wondering- what will become of me? That's what everyone goes through life wondering, probably, the one absorbing anguish. What will become of me? Me.'Rachel Cameron, thirty-four and unmarried, is trapped by the stifling conventionality of small-town Canadian life as a shy, retiring schoolmistress and dependable helpmeet to her coy and overbearing invalid mother. Desperate for love and companionship, she risks all in an affair with a man for whom sex and love are more trivial matters- and it changes Rachel's life in unforseen ways. First published in 1966, this is the second of Margaret Lawrence's famous Manakawa series of novels, and a powerful exploration of loneliness, desire and the pain of disappointment.
Jane And Prudence
By Barbara Pym
Over the years, as Barbara Pym replaced Nancy Mitford, Georgette Heyer, even Jane Austen, as my most loved author, I devoured all her books, but JANE AND PRUDENCE remains my favourite. Even an umpteenth reading this weekend was punctuated by gasps of joy, laughter and wonder that this lovely book should remain so fresh, funny and true to life' Jilly Cooper'The setting of this very funny novel, one of Barbara Pym's earliest, is an English village where Jane's husband is the newly appointed vicar, and where Prudence will pay Jane a visit and find herself courted by a fatuous young widower. Prudence, at twenty-nine, has achieved nothing in life but a dull research job in London and a string of dud affairs; Jane, now in her forties, was Prudence's tutor at Oxford. Jane cheerfully concedes that she is an incompetent housewife, but she hopes that the move to a rural parish may transform her into a Trollopean vicar's wife, as well as a crafty matchmaker. There are many comic complications here, as Jane learns that matchmaking has as many pitfalls as does housewifery' The New Yorker
By Daphne Du Maurier
'His first instinct was to stretch out his hands to the sky. The white clouds seemed so near to him, surely they were easy to hold and to caress, strange-moving things belonging to the wide blue space of heaven . . . 'Julius Levy grows up in a peasant family in a village on the banks of the Seine. A quick-witted urchin caught up in the Franco-Prussian War, he is soon forced by tragedy to escape to Algeria. Once there, he learns the ease of swindling, the rewards of love affairs and the value of secrecy. Before he's twenty, he is in London, where his empire-building begins in earnest, and he becomes a rich and very ruthless man. Throughout his life, Julius is driven by a hunger for power, his one weakness his daughter, Gabriel . . . A chilling story of ambition, Daphne du Maurier's third novel has lost none of its ability to unsettle and disturb.
By Nell Stroud
JOSSER is the powerful and moving account of Oxford-educated Nell Stroud's life in the circus. It is also the story of the people of the circus: the trapeze artists, the clowns, the high-wire acts, the grooms, the llamas, the elephants - their commitment and expertise, their hard, marginalised, miraculous lives. Following a terrible riding accident which left her mother permanently brain-damaged, Nell ran away to the circus. What she found there was a life which became more real to her than the one she left behind. She found people who had sacrificed their lives for their art, who worked in all weathers, perfecting some of the most dramatic and beautiful acts ever seen. She found third-generation show-people who travelled around forgotten parts of Britain to bring their abstract, polished, multi-layered show to ever dwindling audiences. She found herself in an art form that soon, if we are not careful, we will lose. Whilst she has lived and worked among the circus people for several years, she is not one of them: she was not born in the circus. In their words she is a 'josser' a person in the circus from the outside world. This is her story.'The circus does cast a spell over some people. I felt overwhelmed by it. The circus filled up existence and left room for nothing else. What was there to do?
By Bharati Mukherjee
When Jasmine Vijh is suddenly widowed at seventeen, she seems fated to a future of quiet isolation in a small Indian village. But, voracious for life, she flees to America. Six years on she has become Jane Ripplemeyer, resident of Iowa, married to a middle-aged banker and adoptive mother of a Vietnamese refugee. Jasmine's odyssey through America, rippling with energy and daring, reflects Mukherjee's preoccupation with the fractured lives of exiles and immigrants caught up in a painful yet exhilarating cross-cultural metamorphosis. In this uncompromising novel that draws on all the strengths of the award-winning The Middleman and Other Stories and carries them to a new level of perception and intensity, Bharati Mukherjee has given us a heroine's 'greedy with wants and reckless with hope' - and leaves us breathless with surprise.
Just Give Me A Cool Drink Of Water 'Fore I Diiie
By Maya Angelou
From this best-selling author comes a marvellous collection of poetry. Poems of love and regret, of racial strife and confrontation, songs of the people and songs of the heart - all are charged with Maya Angelou's zest for life and her rage at injustice. Lyrical, tender poems of longing, wry glances at betrayal and isolation combine with a fierce insight into 'hate and hateful wrath' in an unforgettable picture of the hopes and concerns of one of America's finest contemporary Black writers.