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The Orchard on Fire

The Orchard on Fire

‘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.
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 7th April 2016

Price: £8.99

ISBN-13: 9780349007212

Reviews

An eloquent, beautifully written, unpretentious novel about a Fifties childhood . . . Mackay moved this reader to tears, not from grief but from joy. Now there's a skill
Fay Weldon, Mail on Sunday
Shena Mackay is a writer in prime: at the height of her powers ... Her prose is flawlessly seductive and comic, confidently witty and sensual
Julie Myerson, Independent on Sunday
Totally authentic, agonisingly nostalgic, this poignant everyday story of Fifties folk has the power to lay bare everyone's susceptibility to the ghosts that forever teem around the scenes of our childhood
Val Hennessy, Daily Mail
An extremely beautiful and funny novel . . . The Orchard on Fire is probably Mackay's most perfect book, produced with a technical adroitness and shapeliness which one can only envy
Philip Hensher, Guardian
Shena Mackay has brought off something quite rare ... the author has set out a rite of passage which will leave few readers unaffected
Anita Brookner, Spectator
A celebration of childhood as well as a mourning for the loss of innocence . . . a bitter-sweet, gentle novel, not given to grandstanding or preaching, but shot through with humour and compassion. Her writing brilliantly captures the spirit of the place, where every present sensation has ghostly overtones that make the experience all the more sad and lovely
Times Literary Supplement
So touched with magic, so achingly sad and funny that my breath was taken away . . . wonderful
Elizabeth Buchan, The Times