Article published on December 25, 2011.
Custody by Manju Kapur
An intimate portrait of marriage and family from prize-winning author Manju Kapur.
When Shagun leaves her husband Raman for another man, a bitter legal battle ensues. The custody of their two young children is at stake – and Shagun must decide what price she will pay for freedom.
Raman’s new wife is unable to have children of her own, and finds another chance of happiness as a step-mother. But when the courts threaten the security of her new family, she decides she must fight for it – whatever the cost.
Custody is the story of marriages that disintegrate and intertwine – with cruel and heart-rending consequences. Absorbing, moving and beautifully written, it explores the lengths we go to for the ones we love.
In the Bleak Midwinter by Carol Rivers
Winter 1919. Two months after the Armistice that ended the Great War, and life in London’s East End is slowly returning to normal. But for 25-year-old Birdie Connor the battle is only just beginning.
Frank, Birdie’s older brother, has been sent to prison for deserting his army post whilst fighting in Belgium, and the shame heaped on the Connor family by their neighbours is unrelenting. Wilfred, Birdie’s widowed father, has disowned Frank and vows that he will never set eyes on his son again, but Birdie cannot believe that her brother is guilty. So when Frank escapes from prison and comes to find Birdie in secret, she promises to help him and is determined to prove his innocence. But little does she realise that she is exposing herself to danger as Frank gets himself deeper and deeper into trouble with the so-called friends he met in prison.
Helped by the Connors’ lodger, the handsome Harry Chambers, will Birdie be able to find the proof that Frank needs in time to reconcile him to their frail father before it is too late? And can she build a future to keep herself and her younger brother, Patrick, safe?
Delicacy by David Foenkinos
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