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A tender and moving study of a marriage.
Ted Marshall meets Rene in the dancehalls of Morecambe and they marry during the frail optimism of the 1950s. They adopt the roles expected of man and wife at the time: he the breadwinner at the family ceramics firm, and she the loyal housewife. But as the years go by, they find themselves wishing for more…
After Ted survives a heart attack, both see it as a new beginning.
They forgot the happiness.
Or rather, pushed it away.
But it was there, all their lives,
waiting to surprise them.
"The layers of the story unpeel like an onion, each separate and perfect in its place and time, full of translucent beauty if only you can look at it the right way.
- Clare Rhoden
"A tender and moving study of a marriage."
- Alison Moore, author of the Booker short-listed The Lighthouse
Enjoy these lovely extras while reading Cath Barton's In the Sweep of the Bay.
In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton is a quiet book with some important themes. Nuanced, undramatic and unsentimental, it deals with the oppression of women and how that affects everyone. An account of an ordinary marriage gone stale, a portrait is drawn of lost potential, constrained dreams and limited lives, but with hope that lingers long after you’ve read it.
Beautifully written, In the Sweep of the Bay gives you windows into a conflicted, loving, complicated marriage. The prose in this book is quietly lovely, unpretentious and very easy reading. It presents a view of a relationship where two people who care about each other still don’t know quite how to connect, which I think is a timeless and universal dilemma, despite the keen sense of both place and time at the heart of this novella.
This spoke to my heart on a variety of levels. It made me think of my mother, it made me reflect on just how much society has changed in the past fifty years, it made me melancholy and joyful at the same time. It spoke to the lives of every man and woman with thoughts on hope, love, and disappointments. A novella, yet it had the heft of a much longer work. Enough heft that I would qualify it as ‘literary fiction’ which speaks to the heart. The characters were very realistically drawn, and the writing was outstanding.
This is a little gem of a book that perfectly captures the small and important moments in everyday lives. Fleeting emotions and lost opportunities, happy coincidences and sudden realisations, words unsaid and thoughts suppressed, a lifetime of quiet love, duty, and the essential spiritual isolation of each individual among many.
Gabrielle has deliberately made an innocuous and mundane life for herself. But 20 years after her one and only brilliant novel was published, her secrets are in danger of being exposed.
The Fermi is the Earth's first and last faster-than-light spaceship. The last, because it turns out its engine vaporises entire star systems in its wake. And nobody knows how to turn it off.
Heledd, leader of the first violins, has been in love with her irrepressible conductor Rosemary for years. But Heledd has a secret.
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