Part Of The Furniture Paperback – 3 Jan 2008
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"A novel whose freshness of tone, energy of plotting and sweet nature make it exceptional by any standards" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Few novelists offer such a rich concoction of amoral spice and cleverness; but to judge her work exclusively on this level is to miss more subtle rewards" (Mail on Sunday)
"With its brilliant final twist, this is Mary Wesley's best yet" (Evening Standard)
Early in 1941, having just seen off at Euston Station the two young men whom she has loved for the best part of her seventeen years, Juno Marlowe is hurrying down a London street with her ill-fitting shoes in her hands. Aeroplanes thunder overhead; a battery of guns opens up. When a stick of bombs falls she cowers, then takes to her heels in flight. She is rescued from this nightmare by a gaunt stranger, frail and older than his years; guiding her up his front steps, he offers her the protection of his house. Given this respite from the bleakness of an existence where she has no home and family to turn to, Juno encounters first tragedy, then a series of events that take her to a house in the West Country and the blossoming of an English Spring into which war only occasionally intrudes. Here she may find peace, here she will no longer just be part of the furniture. Mary Wesley's new novel, full of her customary warmth and joyful wit, encompasses all manner of emotion and experience with a striking clarity of sense and expression. Forming a triptych with her other wartime novels, "The Camomile Lawn" and "A Sensible Life", this is one of her finest yet.See all Product description
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As always with the wonderful Mary Wesley (where, lying beneath her quirky, comedy of manners style stories, are revealed much darker themes), this is a wittily written, deftly accomplished novel filled with interesting characters leading unconventional lives - in fact, when reading Mary Wesley, I often find myself wishing I knew more about her protagonists' back histories and their inner lives and become more interested in her characters and their eccentricities than the plot. An amusing, entertaining and heartwarming read, made all the more enjoyable by my opting for the Kindle Whispersync version - which meant that I was able to buy both the Kindle edition and the audio download edition (beautifully narrated by Samuel West) for the price of a paperback and could switch effortlessly between listening and reading. Recommended.
Also recommended by the same author: Jumping The Queue;The Camomile Lawn; and Not That Sort Of Girl.
Another delightful and unusual human relationship yarn from this expert in the field. Against the background of the Second World War, teenage Juno Marlowe is like a ship without a rudder. Her widowed mother has emigrated to Canada with her much older fiancé; she is expected to follow, but has other plans. Her two young heartthrobs have joined the army, and on her way home from seeing them off to an uncertain war, she gets caught in a London air-raid, as a result of which she meets, very briefly, a young man who gives her a letter of introduction that will change her life beyond all recognition. It’s a cracker of a story, gripping, witty and heart-warming . I enjoyed every page immensely.