From the author of Me and the Fat Man and Home comes a gripping historical novel set in Victorian London. This is a tale of murder and love - and the tragic extremes of loss and need. On a humid, thundery afternoon, Laura commits an appalling act - the murder of her husband. But is it so appalling to free yourself, to run after the only passion you've ever known? It is Billy who has to find an answer - Billy, fifteen years younger than her and already a father of five. But what he doesn't know yet is that Laura also had a child, a child she gave up to the Foundling Hospital and whose memory will shape their future together in unimaginable ways. Julie Myerson's new novel moves through a Victorian London which is tender, murky and unsettling. A spectacularly eerie and unforgettable love story.
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On a sultry afternoon in Victorian London, the eponymous narrator of Laura Blundy beats her husband to death. "In the end I use my crutches as well," she recounts. "I don't stop till he's down and twitching, till he's stopped shouting and screaming, till he's down." Then, scarcely able to believe her crime, Julie Myerson's heroine flees to her lover, Billy. As this star-crossed pair contemplates the future, Laura pieces together her past, which is a rough business indeed. Destitute on London's mean streets at age 14, she served time in jail and suffered a crippling accident. At this point she was taken up by a young surgeon, Ewan Lockhart, but this putative savior quickly became her tyrannical husband--and, eventually, murder victim. Only Billy, a poor ditch-digger and married man, seems to offer Laura the love and respect she craves. As her tale unfolds, though, they discover that it was not chance alone that brought them together.
Myerson has crafted a haunting love story that's rich in period detail. Like Patrick Suskind's Perfume, the text pulsates with the sights, sounds, and (last but not least) reeking odors of the city:
You are well acquainted with how the moisture clings to your face and hair regardless of the season, how the buildings lean so close in together that they coax the alley below into permanent shadow. How in winter there is flooding and in summer there is the big stink and then of course the cholera that floats into your chest, borne on the wind from all that filthy air.The author also paints a vivid, almost visceral portrait of motherhood and loss. At times, the sheer profusion of Dickensian detail can cloud the reader's enjoyment of the story. And we can wade through only so much relentless suffering before longing for a little humor, something that Myerson, unlike Dickens, has failed to factor into her account. Still, Laura Blundy remains an intelligent and deeply moving book, even if it takes nerves of steel to reach its rewarding conclusion. --Matthew Baylis About the Author:
Julie Myerson was born in Nottingham in 1960, read Englist at Bristol University and worked for the National Theatre and Walker Books before becoming a full-time writer. She has published five novels: Sleepwalking, The Touch, Me and the Fat Man, Laura Blundy and Something Might Happen (which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2003).
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Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800072029660000000
Book Description HarperPerennial, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 272 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0007202962
Book Description HARPER COLLINS, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780007202966 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE0983720
Book Description HarperPerennial, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110007202962