The Harlencys abandon their Streatham gin-palace for "The Copper Kettle Tearoom" in Stoneford, but their dreams evaporate as undesirable elements of the community provide their only trade. Life for daughter April, however, is more interesting when she befriends the red-headed and firey Ruby.
When Percy and Betty Harlency abandon their steady Streatham pub for the Copper Kettle tearoom in Kent, life for their daughter, April, changes dramatically. She is befriended by the wonderfully dangerous Ruby, whose red hair and brutal home life emphasis her love of fire, and by the creepy but immaculately dressed Mr Greenridge, who likes to follow her around the village. Mingling the innocent with the sinister and laced with the tragic and the bizarre, this is a rare evocation of a 1950s childhood.
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About Shena Mackay
Shena Mackay was born in Edinburgh. She is the author of two novellas, four collections of short stories and eight novels. Her novel Dunedin and the collection of short stories, The Laughing Academy, won both Scottish Arts Council Book Awards and the bestselling The Orchard on Fire was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize and the McVitie's prize. Her latest books are the acclaimed novel, The Artist's Widow, a collection of short stories, The World's Smallest Unicorn, and the novel Heligoland, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2003. Shena Mackay lives in London.
The Orchard on Fire by Shena Mackay
Used - Very Good
Short-listed for Booker Prize for Fiction 1996
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