Mary George of Allnorthover by Lavinia Greenlaw

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This is the story of a teenager at several turning points in her life -- a richly detailed and suspenseful novel about various kinds of courtship gone wrong. The day Tom Hepple returns to the English village of Allnorthover, he stops at the local reservoir, beneath which lies his childhood home. Looking for a sign, he sees a girl walking on water. Not just any girl -- it is Mary George, an uncommonly sympathetic seventeen-year-old, who seems at first to be more important to others than she is to herself. As nearsighted Mary tries to locate herself in the world, struggling with growing up, falling in love, and breaking away, Tom makes her the focus of his attempt to regain his past. Secrets and misapprehensions surface as the village reveals its stories and unwittingly helps Tom toward the catastrophic conclusion of his plan.
MARY GEORGE OF ALLNORTHOVER takes place in Essex in the 1970s -- a small, orderly world disrupted by power cuts, petrol shortages, and drought. The brash color and noise of punk rock is infiltrating the disco in the village hall, and London is getting closer all the time. Mary George is as caught up in all this change as she is in her own history. Her story brings to new life the great themes of family, property, inheritance, and belonging. The traditions of the nineteenth-century novel are both adhered to and subverted in Lavinia Greenlaw's remarkable first book of prose.

About Lavinia Greenlaw

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Lavinia Greenlaw is the award-winning author of two collections of poetry. Her work has appeared in the "Times Literary Supplement", "The New Yorker", the "Paris Review", & other periodicals, & she was a fellow in writing at Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1995. She lives in London.
Published July 9, 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 287 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Both of her parents are off-kilter: her architect father lives like a recluse outside town, and her mother pleads with Mary to remember her father's indiscretions and his past dealings with the Hepples (referring to a scandal that the reader learns about only gradually) while assuring her of Tom'...

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London Review of Books

The title poem is an expression of changing fashions in communication, in a world where news travels quickly but might be lost in the telling: If you are using the site for the first time please register here If you would like access to all 12,000 articles subscribe here Institutions or uni...

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