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Jane Fairchild, orphaned at birth, has worked as a maid at an English country estate since she was sixteen. And for almost all of those years, she has been the secret lover of Paul Sheringham, the scion of the estate next door. On an unseasonably warm March afternoon, when all the servants have been let off work for the day in order to pay their annual visits to their families, Jane and Paul will make love for the last time in Paul's own bedroom--though not, as Jane believes, because Paul is about to be married. The events of the day will alter Jane's life forever. As the narrative moves back and forth from 1924 to the end of the century, what we know and understand about Jane, about the way she loves, thinks, feels, sees and remembers, deepens with every beautifully wrought moment. Her story is one of profound self-discovery and, through her, Graham Swift has created an emotionally soaring and deeply affecting work of fiction.
***LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE*** From the Booker-winning author of Last Orders and Waterland comes a long-awaited new novel. ‘Mothering Sunday is bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly… Swift’s small fiction feels like a masterpiece’ The Guardian It is March 30th 1924. It is Mothering Sunday. How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold? Beginning with an intimate assignation and opening to embrace decades, Mothering Sunday has at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain. Constantly surprising, joyously sensual and deeply moving, it is Graham Swift at his thrilling best. Praise for Mothering Sunday: ‘Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives – the parallel stories – we can never know … It may just be Swift’s best novel yet’ The Observer 'Dazzling . . . a vanished world is resurrected with superb immediacy . . . wonderfully accomplished' Sunday Times 'Stunning . . . It is about the most perfect novel you could wish to read' The Guardian 'From start to finish Swift's is a novel of stylish brilliance and quiet narrative verve . . . Swift is a writer at the very top of his game' Evening Standard 'Exquisite . . . Mothering Sunday shows love, lust and ordinary decency straining against the bars of an unjust English caste system' Kazuo Ishiguro ‘Mastery and resonance . . . It’s one of the novel’s great strengths to be able to shift with such agility between focus scene and lifetime recollection . . . the languid, blissful minutes of March 30, 1924 seem to contain all the succeeding decades’ Times Literary Supplement 'A dazzling read: sexy, stylish, subversive' Herald Scotland 'A jewel of a book, a subtle, erotically charged novella suspended between past and future' Hermione Lee 'A work of gold from the subtle pen of the great Graham Swift' Le Monde 'With this novel he captures what it means to be alive' Der Spiegel ‘An exquisite novella of love and loss . . . a short yet powerful and intricately layered work . . . every sentence counting and not a word out of place’ The Australian
A luminous, intensely moving tale that begins with a secret lovers’ assignation in the spring of 1924, then unfolds to reveal the whole of a remarkable life. Twenty-two-year-old Jane Fairchild has worked as a maid at an English country house since she was sixteen. For almost all of those years she has been the clandestine lover to Paul Sheringham, young heir of a neighboring house. The two now meet on an unseasonably warm March day—Mothering Sunday—a day that will change Jane’s life forever. As the narrative moves back and forth from 1924 to the end of the century, what we know and understand about Jane—about the way she loves, thinks, feels, sees, remembers—expands with every vividly captured moment. Her story is one of profound self-discovery, and through her, Graham Swift has created an emotionally soaring, deeply affecting work of fiction. From the Hardcover edition.
If you love Dilly Court, you'll love Rosie Goodwin. ALL SHE WANTS IS SOMEONE TO CALL HER OWN 1884, Nuneaton. Fourteen-year-old Sunday Small has never lived outside the Nuneaton workhouse. The regime is cruel, and if it weren't for Miss Beau - who comes in every week to teach the children their letters - and her young friend Daisy, Sunday's life wouldn't be worth living. And now she's attracted the unwelcome attention of the workhouse master. With no choice but to leave behind everything she knows, Sunday strikes out on her own to make her fortune and to fulfil her promise to come back for Daisy. And, secretly she dreams of finding the long-lost mother who gave her away. But she's about to discover that, try as she might to escape, the brutal world of the workhouse will not let her go without a fight . . .
Seventy-year-old widowed Anna Caldwell likes to be alone, happy to potter around her garden chatting to her friend Miss Poe. However, the bliss of Anna’s peaceful lifestyle causes her five children much dismay. Jane, the eldest and most organised, gathers her siblings together to visit Anna on Mothering Sunday. Henry the politician, Margaret the doctor and the youngest, Felicity, all agree to attend with their partners . . . but that leaves Tony, the shadow on the family’s respectable past. Carnegie Medal winning author Noel Streatfeild pieces together a startling image of the post-war British family in her novel Mothering Sunday.
I share this account of an apparently simple family event; the sharing of a breakfast meal, celebrating Mothering Sunday; as a way of thinking about how shared experiences, especially of shared meals, which are always more meaningful than they first seem. That Sunday morning, even whilst enjoying the friendly atmosphere and the delicious food, I somehow knew that there was a story to tell; this is but one version. Although my thinking is sociological and methodological, I have tried to tell it as a story, through which I might be able to capture something of the essence of the extraordinary in the ordinariness of a simple shared meal!
Sidney visits her mother Geraldine, who lives with her new lover Doug. With Sidney comes Alex, a former lover of Geraldine's, and a spark of passion rekindles between them. Alex is the loser, however, as Geraldine returns to Doug. All four have pretended to be other than they really are and the truth, when it emerges, hurts. A quirky, funny work from the author of Find Me.
Comprehensive and engaging, this colourful study covers the whole sweep of ritual history from the earliest written records to the present day. From May Day revels and Midsummer fires, to Harvest Home and Hallowe'en, to the twelve days of Christmas, Ronald Hutton takes us on a fascinating journey through the ritual year in Britain. He challenges many common assumptions about the customs of the past, and debunks many myths surrounding festivals of the present, to illuminate the history of the calendar year we live by today.
Modern, relevant resources to accompany readers through Lent and Easter for many years, with material for Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Mothering Sunday, Palm Sunday and Holy Week, as well as suggestions for a Lent discipline.