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Between the wars, the lives of four neighboring English families intersect in this “highly recommended” saga by a New York Times–bestselling author (Sunday Express).
In the spring of 1919, his wife’s death brings Sergeant Jim Carver home from the front. He returns to be a single parent to his seven children in a place he has never lived: Number Twenty, Manor Park Avenue, in a South London suburb.
The Carvers’ neighbor Eunice Fraser, at Number Twenty-Two, has also known tragedy. Her soldier husband was killed, leaving her and her eight-year-old son, Esme, to fend for themselves.
At Number Four, Edith Clegg takes in lodgers and looks after her sister, Becky, whose mind has been shattered by a past trauma.
No one knows much about the Friths, at Number Seventeen, who moved to the Avenue before the war.
The first book in the two-part historical series the Avenue, which also includes The Avenue Goes to War, The Dreaming Suburb takes readers into the everyday lives of these English families between World War I and World War II, as their hopes, dreams, and struggles are played out against a radically changing world.
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R. F. Delderfield (1912–1972) was born in South London. On leaving school he joined the Exmouth Chronicle newspaper as a junior reporter and went on to become editor. He began to write stage plays and then became a highly successful novelist, renowned for brilliantly portraying slices of English life. With the publication of his first saga, A Horseman Riding By, he became one of Britain’s most popular authors, and his novels have been bestsellers ever since. Many of his works, including the Horseman Riding By series, To Serve Them All My Days, the Avenue novels, and Diana, were adapted for television.Review:
“Sheer, wonderful storytelling.” —Chicago Tribune
“It is always a pleasure to read R. F. Delderfield.” —Books and Bookmen
“[Delderfield] built an imposing artistic social history that promises to join those of his great forebears in the long, noble line of the English novel. His narratives belong in a tradition that goes back to John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett.” —Life
“Delderfield’s manner is easy, modest, heartwarming.” —Evening Standard
“A born storyteller.” —Sunday Mirror
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