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  • Sceptre
  • Hodder & Stoughton


Jill Dawson

12 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

'A cracking page-turner of a novel', compassionate and beautifully written portrait of a young single mother breaking free from her past.

In the dead of night, Lily Waite and her 5-year-old son, Matthew, arrive at their new home on a council estate in East London; their only possessions, two suitcases and a bag of charred remains. Their past is a mystery, Matthew s father nowhere in evidence, and Lily resolute in her need for privacy. But Lily has to come to terms with the events that precipitated her flight from Yorkshire and, as she relaxes enough to allow new relationships into her and her son s life, the secrets of the past finally begin to relinquish their hold on the future.

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Praise for Magpie

  • A compelling drama, full of subtle observation and wry humour - The Times

  • 'I loved it ... It's a novel very much of its time and that's what drew me to it so closely - if someone who understands doesn't write about Lily and those like her how will their voice ever be heard? And that's why I love contemporary fiction of this calibre - it tells me how it is'

  • Margaret Forster

  • A cracking page-turner of a novel, written with consummate skill and feeling. This wholly contemporary story of love and survival in the city is free of clich? and full of surprises - Judy Cooke, Mail on Sunday

  • 'This is an enjoyable novel; its brisk prose infused by Dawson's warmth and sympathy for her well-observed characters'

  • Edward Platt in the Sunday Times

  • Lily walks between loneliness and defiance, wretchedness and quiet triumph; it's a delicate line and Jill Dawson achieves it with style, humour and honesty - Roddy Doyle

  • 'A cracking page-turner of a novel, written with consumate skill and feeling. This wholly contemporary story of love and survival in the city is free of cliche and full of surprises''

  • Judy Cooke in the Mail on Sunday

  • A beautifully evocative novel about loneliness, friendship and love. Seldom has inner-city London been depicted with such passion, and peopled with such a disparate array of characters, all of whom remain totally convincing and linger in the memory long after the final page - Caryl Phillips

  • 'A compelling drama, full of subtle observation and wry humour, which engages the reader's symapthies. One of the reasons for the book's success is its likeable central character, another is the truthfulness and sensitivity with which it depicts ordinary life'

  • Christina Koning in The Times

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Jill Dawson

Jill Dawson was born in Durham. She is the author of three novels: Trick of the Light, Magpie and Fred & Edie, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize and translated into several languages. She is also an award-winning poet and has edited five anthologies, including Wild Ways: New Stories about Women on the Road (co-edited with Margo Daly), The Virago Book of Wicked Verse and the recent Gas and Air: Tales of Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond. She taught at Amherst College and is currently the Creative Writing Fellow at University of East Anglia in Norwich. She lives in the Fens with her partner and two sons.

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