Special Christmas Competition

Article published on December 25, 2011.

Custody by Manju Kapur

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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

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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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He was passing by, she kissed him without thinking. Now she wonders whether she did the right thing. But Natalie isn’t certain of anything anymore. One minute she was a happily married young woman, successful in her career, and convinced the future was full of promise. But when her husband was run over by a car, her whole world was turned upside down. Years later, still bruised with grief but desperate to move on with her life, she impulsively kisses her colleague Markus.
For Natalie, the kiss is just a gratuitous act. For the awkward, unassuming Markus, it is the moment at which he falls hopelessly, helplessly in love. But how will he ever convince such a beautiful, intelligent but confused young woman that he is the man who can bring her back to life?
To win, just answer our two questions before 8 January.  The answers available in extracts on Bookdiva.
1. How long had Raman and Shagun been married before she has their first child?
2. How does Birdie earn money to support her family?

Terms and conditions

1. Closing date for entries: 8th January 2012.
2. Open to residents of the United Kingdom only.
3. Entry to the competition is by completion of the above form only. Anyone submitting multiple entries will be disqualified.
4. The winners will be selected at random from those correct entries received before the closing date.
5. Only the winning entrants will be contacted by Bookdiva. Our decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
6. The winner’s name(s) may be published on the Bookdiva website after the closing date of the competition.
7. The competition is not open to Bookdiva employees and their families, or to employees of Bookdiva publishers and their families.

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