Welcome to Edenfield, an English village in Sussex. It is home to rich and poor, young and old, incomers and folk who've lived there for ever. Among the incomers is mother of two Laura, who, twenty years on, is still pining for Nick, her first love at university. He dumped her, broke her heart and went to live in the States. Now he's back. Her husband Henry is a TV writer who commutes daily and resents the lack of acknowledgment his latest TV series is receiving. Journalist Liz, the single mother (who Henry lusts after on the train to London), still sleeps with her ex ten years after they split and hates herself afterwards. Local schoolmaster, Alan, teaches their children and gets endless rejections for the plays he writes in his spare time.Martin, the struggling farmer, can't bear the yummy mummies and their privileged children; and the kindly local vicar hides a dark secret. These characters - and more - are richly imagined by an author of immense talent whose voice is by turns witty, waspish, sharply observant and achingly tender. Nicholson brings together seamlessly the many strands of his story. Readers will empathize with these characters, laugh at them, cry with them and long for a good outcome for each of them.
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William Nicholson grew up in Sussex and was educated at Downside School and Christ's College, Cambridge. He joined BBC Television where he worked as a documentary film maker. He moved to television drama. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story, both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award of their year. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for stage, was Evening Standard's Best Play of 1990. He was co-writer on the film Gladiator. He is married with three children and lives in Sussex. Visit his website at www.williamnicholson.co.ukReview:
"The writing is unobtrusively brilliant. I can't remember enjoying and admiring a new novel more."—Elizabeth Jane Howard, author of Marking Time
"Utterly captures the sense of quiet desperation of ordinary lives . . . and the ways in which life turns on a sixpence."—Kate Mosse, author of Sepulchre
"Hugely funny. . . . But beneath the Wodehousian surface, it is a serious book about men, women and children with complex inner lives trying to find happiness and coping with disappointment."—Daily Telegraph
"We long for characters that move through village life or suburbs like ticking time bombs and threaten to blow the whole charade like a bad movie. Nicholson's Henry and Laura, flirting with suburban danger, fill that need.”—Los Angeles Times
“William Nicholson’s engaging, big-hearted sendup of upscale English country life, The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life, set in that millennial year, feels utterly contemporary and oddly old-fashioned...This is a smart, sexually frank contemporary novel in which plot turns on letters and on devastating revelations in a quaint county newspaper. Readers may find themselves feeling nostalgic for the 20th century... [a] compulsively readable celebration of community, family ties, and the secret intensities of everyday life.”—Boston Globe
“In this novel Nicholson puts everything plainly on the table: doubts, motivations, desires. You will search in vain for irony or a single smirk. You will find instead a tremendous sincerity. If that comes off as a little old-fashioned, it is also more than a little refreshing.”—St. Petersburg Times
“Nicholson deftly portrays this diverse set of characters, giving each a distinctive voice.... A brighter, more balanced vision of suburban life than is often found in fiction, this will appeal not only to fans of British fare but to any reader who enjoys contemporary fiction focusing on family relationships. Put this in the hands of any fortysomething patron who seems to be negotiating a midlife crisis and needs some gentle food for thought.”—Library Journal
“Nicholson has a knack for crystallizing his themes in pivotal moments and deserves credit for not clouting the reader over the head with his affirmative message about the viability of two rapidly fading instituitions: long-term marriage and English country life.”—Publishers Weekly
“Nicholson interweaves all of these lives and stories in an insightful and entirely believable way, making trenchant observations about life in a small town, life with children and the state of matrimony.”—Shelf Awareness
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Book Description Quercus Publishing, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1847248128