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Fiction set in Liverpool

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Initial post: 30 May 2010 10:25:37 BDT
Louizalass says:
Another poster started a discussion asking for fiction set in London so I thought I'd take a leaf out of his book and ask for any recommendations for fiction set in Liverpool.

I've read all of Maureen Lee's books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I've tried Joan Jonker but sadly, her style doesn't do it for me.

I'm not terribly keen on clog 'n' shawl fiction unless it's well written and has great humour and strong women in it (generally, I find the two go together)

I've also read the books by Helen Forrester and enjoyed those.

Anybody know of any more which I might enjoy?


Posted on 30 May 2010 11:58:19 BDT
FrancesH says:
"All the Sweet Promises" by Elizabeth Elgin starts off in Liverpool in the blitz and then moves to Scotland. It has an awful title but the story is good. About how three young woman cope with the events that they encounter during WW2.

Posted on 30 May 2010 12:08:27 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
Most of Beryl Bainbrige's earlier novels are set in Liverpool.
Have a look at "The Rescue Man" by Anthony Quinn, although it isn't similar to the others you have mentioned.
I was going to suggest Helen Forrester, but you have already read those.
They aren't set in Liverpool, but you might like Pat Barker's "Union Street" and "Century's Daughter" as they do have strong northern women.

Posted on 30 May 2010 12:08:59 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 30 May 2010 12:09:31 BDT]

Posted on 30 May 2010 12:33:08 BDT
Louizalass says:
reply to Ms VC Buter-finn: yes, I'd forgotten about Beryl B's books - most of which I've read & enjoyed. I'll take a look a Anthony Quinn & Pat Barker.

FrancesH: Thanks for the suggestion of Elizabeth Elgin. I'll take another look - I did read one of hers last year - can't remember it's title - but I didn't finish it as she didn't quite do it for me, I'm afraid. Isn't it funny how a book can have an indefinable something missing for a reader but the reader can't exactly describe that missing va-voom?!!

Posted on 30 May 2010 15:16:38 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 1 Jun 2010 19:28:09 BDT]

Posted on 31 May 2010 09:40:40 BDT
S Riaz says:
Most of the books I know of have been mentioned, but I can add Ron Ellis, who has a mystery series set in Liverpool. His detective is a radio presenter on Radio Merseyside and was a member of a Merserybeat band, Johnny Ace. His first book in the series is "Ears of the City" and as a huge Beatle fan I find them very enjoyable, although they are not about the Beatles as such.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2010 20:17:33 BDT
Louizalass says:
Thanks, S Riaz! Have ordered Framed - a Johnny Ace Mystery. Will let you know what I think!

Posted on 31 May 2010 20:24:21 BDT
S Riaz says:
Hi Louise, I also discovered another Liverpool mystery series by Martin Edwards, although I haven't read them. The first one is called "All the Lonely People" (more Beatles influence there!) and it's about Harry Devlin, a Liverpool solicitor. I can't really recommend them, but you can have a look.

Posted on 31 May 2010 20:32:13 BDT
E. R. Welsby says:
If you don't mind some sci-fi (time travel etc), Stephen Baxter's "The H-Bomb Girl" is set in Liverpool at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2010 20:38:31 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
I like Beryl B's moments of earthy humour Louise.
I know what you mean about books having an indefinable something missing for you. There have been books recommended to me and ones I have recommended to others that just haven't resonated for some reason. Sometimes it is the writing style, unsympathetic characters or dodgy editing, but more often it isn't something you can put your finger on. I hope you enjoy the ones recommended here by everyone, but (don't take this the wrong way) I no longer feel guilty if people don't like the ones I mention, individual tastes differ too much.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2010 12:45:55 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jun 2010 12:46:22 BDT
Louizalass says:
@S Riaz: Ooh! Martin Edwards looks a good read! He's written one called Waterloo Sunset and the story is based on the place where I was born and dragged up so I've put that on my wish list for starters.

I've tried googling and searches within Amazon for stories set in Liverpool but never managed to discover new writers.

Many thanks!

Posted on 1 Jun 2010 13:15:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jun 2010 13:15:43 BDT
Radcliffe says:
Well, this is a play, and it isn't set 'in' Liverpool exactly, but it might be useful. It's 'Educating Rita' - you will probably have heard of it. It has as its protagonist a young Liverpudlian hairdresser in her mid-twenties, who decides that she is not content with the life she leads and the culture she lives in and embarks upon an Open University course in an attempt to 'find herself' through English literature. It proceeds as a parody of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, but Rita is no ragged flower girl, and the play is more comparable to a 'coming of age' story rather than a 'rags to riches' story. as the entire play takes place in her Personal Tutor's office and the plot focuses around their relationship and the things they learn about each other's perceptions of the meaning of life. The play sheds a lot of light on accent/dialect and culture of working class (but not neccessarily impoverished) Liverpool and societal expectations imposed upon working class women, and is a good comparison of the bourgeois values of erudition and formalism with those typical of this community. It's short enough to read in one sitting, heartwarming and well worth a read.

Hope these help!

Posted on 1 Jun 2010 13:47:16 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 7 Oct 2011 09:27:18 BDT]

Posted on 1 Jun 2010 14:42:20 BDT
S Riaz says:
Martin Edwards does look good - I have ordered his first one too. I found some other authors, but I haven't read anything by them. Linda Grant has a book set in Liverpool, "Still here". There is a book from the 1920's (I think) called "The Cotton Broker" by John Owen. Then there are 2 newer authors, Niall Griffiths and Kevin Sampson, who are both listed on the internet as having some/all books set in Liverpool. Thanks to Paul Lewis for his suggestions, I have ordered "All Night Stand".

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2010 19:34:19 BDT
Louizalass says:
Paul Lewis: do you know where I could read a synopsis of Sean Hignett's books? Have tried both amazon and abebooks and then googling but couldn't find anything. He's also written one called The Crezz (wonder if it's slang for Crescent?). He's also written something called 'A Cut Loaf' but that looks a bit too mucky for my taste!

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2010 19:47:33 BDT
Louizalass says:
S Riaz: A few years ago, I bought 'Still Here' by Linda Grant but I could never get past the first few pages - it was a bit too dry and my mind kept wandering off to pastures new! I had a look at Niall Griffiths & Kevin Sampson but I suspect their books are aimed at a younger readership. By that, I don't mean 'young readers' I mean readers who are between 25-30?

But it's good to see new authors, isn't it?

Posted on 1 Jun 2010 20:16:00 BDT
S Riaz says:
I think the two mystery series look best, don't they? I hope you enjoy them. Beryl Bainbridge has some good books set in Liverpool, but people have already mentioned them. I seem to have drawn a blank now, but there are probably hundreds I don't know about. I'm not too keen on the kind of misery, sob, bad childhood kind of books. There seem to be a lot of them based in Liverpool, not sure why!

Posted on 1 Jun 2010 20:25:29 BDT
I love Maureen Lee's books so I think you would enjoy Rosie Harris and Katie Flynn's books too. I certainly do.Some are set in Liverpool though not all. Jan B

Posted on 1 Jun 2010 20:32:38 BDT
S Riaz says:
Margaret Murphy also writes crime books set in Liverpool. OK, I am giving up now!

Posted on 2 Jun 2010 14:53:16 BDT
J. Thompson says:
"iReckon" by Greg Heywood has a portion set in Liverpool. I believe Greg is from Liverpool so perhaps the book is a tout on his life..

Posted on 2 Jun 2010 17:07:32 BDT
FionaB says:
I'm a southerner born and bred but I love Martin Edwards's books! As well as the Harry Devlin series he has another set in trhe Lake District (just a FYI). He's an excellent writer.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2010 19:14:41 BDT
Louizalass says:
Mrs JM Brown: I've taken a look at the Rosie Harris Liverpool books and the synopsis from some of those look interesting enough to take a chance. I'll give one of hers a whirl and see how I get on! Many thanks :)

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2010 20:27:24 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 7 Oct 2011 09:27:19 BDT]

Posted on 7 Aug 2011 22:23:55 BDT
Does anyone remember a young adult novel written in the 60's? It involved a girl who somehow traveled back to the time of the Liverpool bombing. She knew her aunt had been killed one night and tried to stop her from going out. The aunt was named Lark as I recall and I believe the modern girl was Sarah. If anyone remembers title and/or author it would be much appreciated!
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  39
Total posts:  66
Initial post:  30 May 2010
Latest post:  13 Jan 2014

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