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One Christmas Night: The feelgood Christmas book of 2019

Hayley Webster

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

Nine lives. One street. And a secret behind every door. A feelgood novel about connection and community, for readers who love THE LIDO and THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP

Oracle Street, Norwich, has just been labelled by the press as 'The worst place to live in Norfolk this Christmas?' and morale is at an all-time low. In the past few weeks, presents have been going missing from residents' homes, and there are rumours going back and forth that maybe its one of their own who's been doing the stealing...

You get all sorts on Oracle Street. There's Nelson House, the three floor council property, at the far end, where the tenants are mostly council tenants, but some of the flats have been bought up and are rented out to students/professionals. There's the Victorian Terraces along the main street where families private rent, and a few own their own homes. There are beautifully kept gardens. There are gardens full of old white goods. There is a 20 metre square 'park' with a slide, and a duck on a spring for toddlers that rocks back and forth when you sit on it. Its face wore off years ago.

One thing there's not often a lot of on Oracle Street, is money. Another thing there's not a lot of is connection. Each flat, each house, mostly keeps to itself. Sometimes it seems like everybody's hiding something. Sometimes it seems like everybody's hiding full stop.

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Hayley Webster

Hayley Webster is a writer and teacher who grew up in Newbury, Berkshire. Her first novel, Jar Baby, was published by Dexter Haven in 2012 and, as Hayley Scott, three books in her Teacup House series for emerging readers were published by Usborne in 2018. She has written for Grazia, The Observer Magazine, and did a sold-out event at Edinburgh festival in 2018. She's a mentor on the 2019 National Writers Centre Escalator scheme and she lives in Norfolk with her daughter.

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