In the dead of night, Lily Waite and her 5-year-old son, Matthew, arrive at their new home on a council estate in East London; their only possessions, two suitcases and a bag of charred remains. Their past is a mystery, Matthew's father nowhere in evidence, and Lily resolute in her need for privacy. But Lily has to come to terms with the events that precipitated her flight from Yorkshire and, as she relaxes enough to allow new relationships into her and her son's life, the secrets of the past finally begin to relinquish their hold on the future.
A compelling drama, full of subtle observation and wry humour * The Times *
'I loved it ... It's a novel very much of its time and that's what drew me to it so closely - if someone who understands doesn't write about Lily and those like her how will their voice ever be heard? And that's why I love contemporary fiction of this calibre - it tells me how it is'
A cracking page-turner of a novel, written with consummate skill and feeling. This wholly contemporary story of love and survival in the city is free of cliche and full of surprises * Judy Cooke, Mail on Sunday *
'This is an enjoyable novel; its brisk prose infused by Dawson's warmth and sympathy for her well-observed characters'
Edward Platt in the Sunday Times
Lily walks between loneliness and defiance, wretchedness and quiet triumph; it's a delicate line and Jill Dawson achieves it with style, humour and honesty * Roddy Doyle *
'A cracking page-turner of a novel, written with consumate skill and feeling. This wholly contemporary story of love and survival in the city is free of cliche and full of surprises''
Judy Cooke in the Mail on Sunday
A beautifully evocative novel about loneliness, friendship and love. Seldom has inner-city London been depicted with such passion, and peopled with such a disparate array of characters, all of whom remain totally convincing and linger in the memory long after the final page * Caryl Phillips *
'A compelling drama, full of subtle observation and wry humour, which engages the reader's symapthies. One of the reasons for the book's success is its likeable central character, another is the truthfulness and sensitivity with which it depicts ordinary life'
Christina Koning in The Times
'Lily walks between loneliness and defiance, wretchedness and quiet triumph; it's a delicate line and Lily's creator Jill Dawson achieves it with style, humour and honesty'
One of the reasons for the book's success is its likeable central character, another is the truthfulness and sensitivity with which it depicts ordinary life * Christina Koning, The Times *
[A] gem of a novel ... compelling, honest and unputdownable * List *
'A beautifully evocative novel about loneliness, friendship and love'
'This observational drama cleverly keeps you guessing throughout.'
Wigan Evening Post, 17th July 1999
Jill Dawson is the author of the novels Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred and Edie, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Great Lover, Lucky Bunny, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Crime Writer, which won the East Anglian Book of the Year. An award-winning poet, she has also edited several poetry and short story anthologies. Jill Dawson has held many Fellowships, including the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. In 2008 she founded a mentoring scheme for new writers, Gold Dust. She lives in the Cambridgeshire Fens. www.jilldawson.co.uk