Related to: 'The Atmospheric Railway'

Virago

Redhill Rococo

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

The Artist's Widow

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

Dunedin

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

New Zealand, 1909. After weeks at sea the new minister, Jack Mackenzie, arrives from Scotland with his unhappy wife and children in tow. A keen naturalist, he is more enthralled by the botanical - and carnal - delights of Dunedin than in the wellbeing of his flock. In London, eighty years later, Jack Mackenzie's descendants are middle-aged, searching for a way out of their loneliness. Olive, embittered with her loveless life, steals a baby from a crowded tube; William, distraught at the death of a pupil, abandons his job as headmaster and struggles to fill his empty days. Jay Pascal, a young New Zealand vagrant of mysterious parentage arrives in London, looking for a place where he might belong.

Virago

The Orchard on Fire

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

'What made the orchard miraculous was an abandoned railway carriage, set down as if by magic, its wheels gone, anchored by long grass and nettles. Ruby and I stared at it and each other . . . dark-windowed, out of place in a thicket of thorns, it was the perfect hide-out, house, the camp of our dreams'When April's parents move from London to rural Kent she makes her first best friend. With flame-haired, fearless Ruby, April shares secrets, dares and laughter. But Ruby has secrets of her own -bruises that she hides.Also seeking April's friendship is old Mr Greenidge, immaculate in his linen suit, with eyes like blue glass. He follows her around the village with his beguiling dachshund, and wants to learn everything about her.

Virago

Dancing On the Outskirts

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

Here is a wonderful collection of short stories by the writer known for 'the Mackay vision, suburban - as kitsch, as unexceptional, and yet as rich in history and wonder as a plain Victorian terrace house, its threshold radiant with tiling and stained-glass birds of paradise encased in leaded lights' - Guardian.Shena Mackay, who first came to fame before the age of twenty with two novellas, is the doyenne of the short form. In this volume of previously uncollected stories - including those read on radio - she constantly surprises with a view of the ordinary world that is not at all ordinary.A grasshopper determinedly takes up residence on a bathroom ceiling; a gecko hiding in a cupboard brings a strange sort of luck; a woman spies from a distance two older women friends after many long years and a memory of how they gallopedin the playground as Starlight Blaze and Pepperpot plays sweetly, suddenly in her mind; pigs are swaddled in blankets, looking like babies in shawls; luggage is packed with youthful hopes and ideals.She observes how people rub along and reveals the best and worst of us all: a disgruntled schoolboy and his hapless teacher conquer mountains and their antipathy for each other; a girl with green eyes and iridescent hair discovers revenge; a race to be the best mushroom-picker creates only losers; and rotten apples, in the right pair of hands, make a loving pie. Shena Mackay is a generous and keen-eyed chronicler of the everyday; she deftly brings wisdom and humour to the worlds she creates, worlds that we suddenly, excitingly see anew. She is an utterly original writer.

Virago

Old Crow

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

The transition of Coral Fairweather from village beauty to village outcast begins in the short golden days of autumn with the fathering of her first child by a vagrant painter. Soon, fuelled by the suspicion and gossip of those who see, in Coral's hand-to-mouth existence and crumbling cottage, a rejection of all that is respectable, rather than the fierce pride that prevents her from seeking help from the Authorities or from the man who would love her. Spurred on by a malicious widow, the Parish Council agree to purge their neat village of this 'pariah' and her children. This bitter witch hunt speeds towards a terrifying climax in a distinctive novel enriched by crystalline images of the natural world.

Virago

An Advent Calendar

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

A Bowl of Cherries

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

In A Bowl of Cherries Shena Mackay tells the story of twin brothers whose lives are inexorably intertwined: Rex, a self-absorbed and successful writer, and Stanley, a minor poet who works as a dishwasher. Rex lives on the family estate being the older of the twins by one minute with his unhappy wife, Daphne, who writes children's books. Their overweight daughter, Daisy, lives nearby, and as a result of a guilty secret of her own, has married an overbearing, misogynist, and skinflint husband, Julian. Rex's illegitimate son, Seamus, 14, discovers Daisy quite by accident and their relationship blossoms despite the many flawed characters that surround them. He carries a family secret that proves to be devastating, but which ultimately releases his half-sister Daisy from her torments.

Virago

Babies in Rhinestones and Other Stories

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

In 'Babies in Rhinestones', the Alfred Ellis School of Fine Art and the Araidne School Elliot School of Dance and Drama stand side by side, much to their proprietors' dismay. The two trade insults daily as they exchange the mail that so often ends up in the wrong letterbox. The tension increases when the owners find that they have adopted the same stray cat.Here is a wonderful collection of short stories by the writer known for 'the Mackay vision, suburban - as kitsch, as unexceptional, and yet as rich in history and wonder as a plain Victorian terrace house, its threshold radiant with tiling and stained-glass birds of paradise, encased in leaded lights' Guardian.

Virago

Dreams of Dead Women's Handbags

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

The World's Smallest Unicorn and Other Stories

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay
Virago

The Laughing Academy

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

The Laughing Academy is as witty, black and compelling as anything Shena Mackay has written. From antiques fayres to Cloud-Cuckoo-Land, geriatric wards to Crystal Palace, this collection offers a journey around the bizarre yet familiar characters and settings that Mackay has made her own. There are Roy and Muriel Rowley, the fun-running charity-junkies who give blood by the gallon (offending their daughter's religious principles); we meet Gerald Creedy who only loves three beings - his twin brother, Harold, and his two tortoises, Percy and Bysshe - and the mysterious lodger Madame Alphonsine who has the strange powers to make things (including tortoises) disappear; and then there is the rather arrogant bestselling novelist who gives a reading at a women's bookshop only to find, to her horror, that two of her old schoolfriends are in the audience.

Virago

The Virago Book Of Such Devoted Sisters

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

Never were there such devoted sisters...or so the song would have it. Though some may be inseparable, for others the relationship arouses intense, tangled emotions. Louisa May Alcott, Mary Flanagan, Janet Frame, Elizabeth Gaskell, Georgina Hammick, Elizabeth Jolley, Katherine Mansfield and Edna O'Brien are among the prestigious writers who unravel this intricate bond.Stories that reveal remarkable allegiances and private codes are counterpointed by those of sisters pitched against one another in battles for parental affection or sibling supremacy. Here are sisters who lose one another to lovers or to marriage, and one who chooses her sister in favour of a husband...Rivalry, companionship, love and dislike feature in a collection that exposes the innermost secrets of family life. As delightful, surprising - and sometimes disturbing - as the ties they explore, these stories are essential reading.

Amer Anwar

Amer Anwar grew up in West London. After leaving college he had a variety of jobs, including warehouse assistant, comic book lettering artist, a driver for emergency doctors and chalet rep in the French Alps. He eventually landed a job as a creative artworker/graphic designer and spent a decade and a half producing artwork, mainly for the home entertainment industry. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London and is a winner of the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award. Brothers in Blood is his debut novel and the first in the Zaq and Jags series.

Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five works of fiction, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named a best book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. He is the recipient of the Northern California Book Award, the California Book Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the O Henry award for short fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer lives in San Francisco. He has traveled to all of the locations in this novel, but he is only big in Italy.

Angela Chadwick

Angela Chadwick trained as a journalist and worked as a reporter before becoming a communications manager within higher education. XX is her first novel.

C. A. Fletcher

C. A. Fletcher has children and dogs. He lives in Scotland and writes for a living.

Carole Matthews

Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the top ten bestsellers The Cake Shop in the Garden, A Cottage by the Sea, Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses, The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas and Calling Mrs Christmas. In 2015, Carole was awarded the RNA Outstanding Achievement Award. Her novels dazzle and delight readers all over the world and she is published in more than thirty countries.For all the latest news from Carole, visit www.carolematthews.com, follow Carole on Twitter (@carolematthews) and Instagram (matthews.carole) or join the thousands of readers who have become Carole's friend on Facebook (carolematthewsbooks).

Caroline O'Donoghue

Caroline O'Donoghue is a writer for The Pool.com and columnist for The Times. She also hosts the podcast Sentimental Garbage and co-hosts The School for Dumb Women. Promising Young Women is her first book.

Carrie Hope Fletcher

Carrie Hope Fletcher is an actress, singer, author, vlogger and, thanks to her popular YouTube channel, 'honorary big sister' to over a million young people around the world. Carrie's first book, All I Know Now, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and her debut novel, On the Other Side, also went straight to number one in its first week on sale. Carrie's second and third novels, All That She Can See and When The Curtain Falls were both Top Five Sunday Times bestsellers.Carrie played the role of Eponine in Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre in London's West End for almost three years and received the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Takeover in a Role. She has since played Beth in The War of the Worlds, Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (for which she received the 2018 WhatsonStage award for Best Actress in a Musical) and Brenda Payne in Tom Fletcher's The Christmasaurus. She is currently playing Veronica in Heathers: The Musical at The Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End. Carrie's debut album, also called When the Curtain Falls, was released in 2018.Carrie lives just outside of London with numerous fictional friends that she keeps on bookshelves, just in case.