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A Hopscotch Summer [Paperback]

Annie Murray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 May 2013

In the impoverished area of Nechells in Birmingham in the 1930s, young Emma Brown’s life is turned upside down when her mother, Cynthia, has another baby.

Emma has always been a happy-go-lucky child, content as long as things were all right at home with her parents, and her brother and sister. But when the baby is born, Cynthia doesn’t seem able to cope, and even her lifelong friend and neighbour, Dot, can’t seem to get through to her. Cynthia’s husband, Bob, tries to do his best, but when he feels he’s losing the wife he loves so much he turns to drink. Poor Emma can’t seem to keep up with looking after the household, and soon it seems that the only thing to do is for Cynthia to go and stay with her tyrannical older sister across the city.

Life gets even tougher for Emma with her mother away, and she decides it’s time to travel across Birmingham and bring her mother home. But the woman she discovers is very different to the mother she remembers . . .

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A Hopscotch Summer + Soldier Girl + All the Days of Our Lives
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (23 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447232461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447232469
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Annie Murray was born in Berkshire and read English at St John's College, Oxford. Her first 'Birmingham' novel, Birmingham Rose, hit The Times bestseller list when it was published in 1995. She has subsequently written many other successful novels, including The Bells of Bournville Green, sequel to the bestselling Chocolate Girls, and A Hopscotch Summer. Annie has four children and lives near Reading.

Product Description

Book Description

Emma Brown is a happy-go-lucky child, content to work hard at school, and to play hopscotch with her friends on the pavement outside her house in the run-down Nechells area of Birmingham. As long as everything is alright at home with her Ma and Pa, her little sister Joyce and brother Sid, then life is good. But after Em’s mother Cynthia has her baby she just doesn’t seem to be able to cope. Her life-long friend and neighbour Dot helps as much as she can, but she has children of her own, and no man to hand; Cynthia’s husband Bob, too, does his best, but begins to feel that he’s losing the wife he has loved so much; and little Em just can’t find enough hours in the day to do all the washing and cleaning. Soon, it seems, the only thing is for Cynthia to go and stay across the city with her tyrannical older sister. With Cynthia away, life only gets harder for Em. Her best friend Kate ostracizes her, leaving only poor, stinky Molly Fox at her side, and when the Board Man comes to call, wanting to know why she’s not at school, things are really bad. When Bob stays out later and later in the evenings, always the worse for wear, and spending too much time with a local very merry widow, Em decides to travel across Birmingham to fetch her mother home, but the mother she discovers is a far cry from the proud, upright and loving figure she has known so well . . . --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Author

'A Hopscotch Summer' is the first story in what will be a trilogy. The story concentrates on Emma Brown and her family, and what happens to them while Em is quite young. It is also, overall, however the story of three school friends in Birmingham in the 1930s and how their lives entwine and develop.If I had decided to cram all their stories into one book it would have taken very well developed muscles to hold it up to be read! So I am writing three instead. In the next book, 'Soldier Girl,' to be published next year, we follow further the story of Molly Fox, who you will met in this book, though we do not lose sight of Em and her family, or Katie O'Neill, whose story will be told in the third book. So if you don't find out everything you'd like to know about them in this story, there is plenty more to come. Happy reading.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 5 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As usual as soon as I recieved Annie Murray's new book, I had got to read it straight away although I had purchased it to take on holiday. I just couldn't wait till then to read it. The book is about the life of a young child Emma who has to grow up far too quickly to look after her siblings and a father who doesn't seem to care as he is so wrapped up in his own misery due to his wife ending up in an Asylum. All the way through the book I kept hopeing that someone would come to her aid and take over. For me this novel I felt was quiet dark and this was due to the fact the Ms Murray really draws you into the life of her characters and that they become so real to you. I wanted this child's life to take a turn to make her life more bearable sooner rather than later.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating! 1 Sep 2011
By Leo13
I had read other peoples' reviews on this book so knew it was the first in a trilogy.
What drew me to it initially was that I would have been approximaely the same age as the little girl 'Em' in the period that the story was set and from a not disimilar background and it was like opening a door into the past, good and bad. I then read 'Soldier Girl' the second book and I am now reading the final book in the Trilogy 'All the days of our lives' and I am still as capitivated. An excellent atmospheric rendition of life from the mid 30's to post war following the paths of three young girls into adulthood. their trials and tribulations. Superbly, descriptive writing and a very enjoyable read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars as you would expect 19 Aug 2009
good book in the same style as others by the author bought for my mother who liked this as the others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars June 8 Jun 2009
enjoyed but did lack the oomph her other books had felt as if left in mid air will there be a follow on
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hopscotch Summer 11 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought "All the Days of Our Lives" (Katie's story) when I saw it in a supermarket to take on holiday recently and I loved it! Hopscotch Summer is the first book in this trilogy and is Em's story and covers life when Em, Molly and Katie were little girls. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was so atmospheric as was "All the Days of Our Lives". I have visited Living Museums in Birmingham and Wales and could picture the sort of houses the girls lived in! I am now reading "Soldier Girl" which is Molly's story. These books are so easy to read and really enjoyable and although life was undoubtedly much, much harder than life is today (thank goodness for the washing machine!) it was much simpler and less stressful, with all our choices and communication devices never giving us a moments peace! I have read "Chick-lit" for years but I'm really enjoying these books set in modern history, in fact the girls would all now be about the same age as my 88 year old mother-in-law! I have now ordered 4 more Annie Murray books and intend to buy them all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soldier Girl by Annie Murray 26 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I always enjoy a good book at bedtime and for me it has to be somethithing I lookforward to reading. It has to hold my interest or I get bored.

I have now read 6 of Annie Murrays books and I do not generaly stick to one Author authour except for James Patterson.For me Annie Murray is out there with the best of story tellers.

It is refreshing to read bookes that hold a historical version of life in Birmingham in a period setting. I know or have heard of many of the places mentioned in her books. This makes it personal.

I can relate to the characters and the experiences of the families in all of Annie's books because of the attention to detail with things like the out side privey and phrases and dirlect unique to Brum and the Brummie ressilience, open friendly and warm nature so often neglected in literature is highlighted and shines though all her books.

If you, like me like a good read at bedtime then go for Annie Murray.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read! 23 Oct 2011
I have read a lot of Annie Murray books, and have really enjoyed all of them. This one really had me hooked, I found myself wondering about the characters even when I wasn't able to read it. I felt as if I was living their story with them. I have cried with them and cheered for them. I feel as if I have got to know all of them really well! Just about to start the next book in this seriesSoldier Girl, cant wait! Well done Annie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! 18 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Couldn't put this book down and started the next book straight away! Thoroughly enjoyable read Annie Murray does it again!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant.
I love every one of Anne Murray's books. She captures your imagination from page one, she lets the pen flow so well and writes with such enthusiasm. Read more
Published 27 days ago by abcde
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nice book to read enjoyed it
Published 1 month ago by Satisfied customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely!
A moving story. I really enjoyed reading this and was both moved and surprised by some of the twists and bumps along the way.
Published 1 month ago by L M
4.0 out of 5 stars Birmingham pre=war
Good story , about families in pre-war Birmingham. Very perceptive of post-natal depression. Also child abuse within the family, and, the impact of 1st World War, had on families
Published 2 months ago by maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars A hopscotch summer
I couldn't put it down once I started reading. I love all Annie Murray's books
I would recommend
this to anybody
Published 3 months ago by Mrs c noble
5.0 out of 5 stars Another of Annie Murray's books not to be missed
I am still reading this book and loving it. She brings everything to life even though I don't live around Birmingham she draws a good picture of it in those days. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. D. J. Hayden
5.0 out of 5 stars Book one of 3 strories.
Loved getting to know the characters in this book from Em, Molly and Katie. Couldn't put it down ordred Soldier Girl and All the days of our lives to follow the three girls lives. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tina
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
What a lovely book.. not read anything for a while and needed a light book to get me started again.. so pleased I picked this one.. can't wait to start follow up... thank you.
Published 5 months ago by karenhookem
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Down to earth story
I read this book in 2days just could"nt put it down.I found it so true to life.
I would recommend it to anybody who likes family sagas.
Published 6 months ago by joan smith
5.0 out of 5 stars ///
A really good read - you feel as though you know the characters. Annie murray brings places and people to mind.
Published 6 months ago by Sandra Wilson
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