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  • Arcadia Books
  • Arcadia Books

On Hampstead Heath: A delightfully sharp and witty comedy of errors

Marika Cobbold

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A journalist fakes a heart-warming story, only to find an unexpected truth behind her creation - a sharp and poignant comedy of errors

"A mystery and an elegy for the death of old-fashioned journalism, it's a book that will warm your heart." The Observer

"Splendid . . . Funny, poignant, perceptive and plenty of sharp elbows along the way." Val McDermid

Thorn Marsh was raised in a house of whispers, of meaningful glances and half- finished sentences. Now she's a journalist with a passion for truth, more devoted to her work at the London Journal than she ever was to her ex-husband.

When the newspaper is bought by media giant The Goring Group, who value sales figures over fact-checking, Thorn openly questions their methods, and promptly finds herself moved from the news desk to the midweek supplement, reporting heart-warming stories for their new segment, The Bright Side, a job to which she is spectacularly unsuited.

On a final warning and with no heart-warming news in sight, a desperate Thorn fabricates a good-news story of her own. The story, centred on an angelic apparition on Hampstead Heath, goes viral. Caught between her principles and her ambitions, Thorn goes in search of the truth behind her creation, only to find the answers locked away in the unconscious mind of a stranger.

Marika Cobbold returns with her eighth novel, On Hampstead Heath. Sharp, poignant, and infused with dark humour, On Hampstead Heath is an homage to storytelling and to truth; to the tales we tell ourselves, and the stories that save us.

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Praise for On Hampstead Heath: A delightfully sharp and witty comedy of errors

  • On Hampstead Heath is a deliciously romantic comedy of misunderstandings and misbehaviour - I loved it - author of SMALL PLEASURES

  • With On Hampstead Heath, Marika Cobbold has rebooted the Hampstead Novel for the 21st century. A delightful novel

  • A heart-warming and at times hilarious tale about truth and honesty in this treacherous age of social media

  • A brilliant and brave take on fake news and its fallout

  • Clever and funny with a splinter of melancholy running through it. It's a superb read - author of THE SMALLEST MAN

  • Few writers balance darkness and light as well as Cobbold - i paper

  • On Hampstead Heath was so refreshing and unexpectedly needed, like feeling the sun on your face in winter. Funny, astute, and aching in all the right ways, I was utterly charmed. - author of A THOUSAND PAPER BIRDS

  • Marika Cobbold's look on life is unique

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Marika Cobbold

Marika Cobbold was born with newspaper ink flowing through her veins. She used to visit her father and grandfather at their offices at the Gothenburg-Post, the Swedish broadsheet her grandfather had rescued from oblivion decades earlier.

At home, when Marika wasn't reading, she listened as the grown-ups around her discussed the issues of the day, and to the stories told by her mother and great aunt, who was a writer.

She left Sweden for England when she was nineteen, with vague plans of studying law, but eventually what her grandfather called "the family curse" caught up with her, and some years later she wrote her first novel, Guppies For Tea. She has been writing ever since.

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