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In order to spend more time with her four-year-old son Ned, Clara Costello trades in her secure, well-paid job and two-seater sports car for a camper van called Winnie, and the three of them set off on a mystery tour of England. Of course, her friends and family think she's gone mad.
But when they arrive in Deaconsbridge, a small market town on the edge of the Peak District, Clara and Ned become drawn into the lives of the locals. Two in particular seem destined to get under Clara's skin: Gabriel Liberty, a cranky widower who terrifies his family; and Archie Merryman, a local dealer in second-hand furniture, who possesses a heart of gold.
Then Clara finds herself having to confront a problem much closer to home, and one she had hoped she would never have to face ...
Read by Jenny Agutter
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The heroine of Erica James' seventh novel, Precious Time, is determined to make some changes in her life. Single mum Clara Costello has a secure job, a nifty sports car, a lovely house and a beguiling four-year-old son, called Ned. Ned is due to start school, but before he does Clara is determined to spend some "precious time" with him. So, feeling like an "intrepid explorer" she resigns from her job, buys a camper van and heads off on a tour of England to "show Ned what an exciting world he lived in, so that he would grow up knowing that there were endless possibilities out there for him." Clara's wonderful tour doesn't go quite to plan. A mere 250 miles from their starting point they arrive in Beaconsfield in the Peak District and get "caught up in the lives of a handful of folk".
Erica James' novel really comes into its own here. The characters are engaging, infuriating, their individual stories involving. There's Gabriel Liberty a 79-year-old cantankerous tyrant who's walled up with grief in the huge decaying Mermaid house. There's his son, schoolteacher Jonah, with his "fine boned face and disarming smile" and his difficult twin brother and sister Casper and Damson. Archie Merryman also lives in the village, a gentle soul who's caring for his mother and trying to come to terms with the failure of his marriage to stroppy Stella. Erica James deftly weaves these disparate characters together, revealing the secrets and regrets of their emotional lives, while keeping the plot moving at a sprightly pace. This is a deft and entertaining read from this popular author.--Eithne FarryReview:
'James writes brilliant fairy stories for adults' GOOD BOOK GUIDE
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Book Description Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR008440297
Book Description Orion, 2001. Audio Cassette. Condition: Good. Slight rubbing to slipcase/sleeve Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Seller Inventory # mon0008695271