By Beryl Bainbridge

ISBN-10: 0748125264

ISBN-13: 9780748125265

It truly is 1950 and the Liverpool reporatory theatre corporation is rehearsing its Christmas construction of Peter Pan, a narrative of early life innocence and loss. Stella has been taken on as assistant degree supervisor and fast turns into enthusiastic about Meredith, the dissolute director. however it is just while the distinguished O'Hara arrives to take the lead, diverse drama unfolds. In it, he and Stella are sure jointly in a prior that neither dares to interpret.

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Sample text

My father’s hand grabbed me by the neck and lifted me up. ” “Please, Father …” He threw me face-first against the wall with all his might and the bang on my head made me lose my balance and crash down like a bag of bones. I crawled into a corner and stayed there, curled up in a ball, watching as my father opened my wardrobe, pulled out the few clothes I possessed and hurled them on the floor. He looked in drawers and trunks without finding the book until, exhausted, he came back for me. I closed my eyes and pressed myself up against the wall, waiting for another blow that never came.

Until a few months previously, the only thing I longed for when I went to bed every night was to be able to muster enough courage to speak to Cristina, the daughter of my mentor’s chauffeur, and for the hours that separated me from dawn to pass so that I could return to the newspaper offices. Now, even that refuge had begun to slip away from me. Perhaps if one of my literary efforts was a resounding failure I might be able to recover my colleagues’ affection, I told myself. Perhaps if I wrote something so mediocre and despicable that no reader could get beyond the first paragraph, my youthful sins would be forgiven.

I saw that his Hispano-Suiza was parked below, on the corner of Calle Princesa. The chauffeur, Manuel, was polishing the chrome with a rag as if it were a sculpture by Rodin. Manuel had always reminded me of my father; they were men of the same generation who had suffered too much misfortune and whose memories were written on their faces. I had heard some of the servants at Villa Helius say that Manuel Sagnier had done a long stretch in prison and that when he’d come out he had endured hardship for years because nobody would offer him a job except as a stevedore, unloading sacks and crates on the docks, a job for which by then he no longer had the requisite youth or health.

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An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge

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