Book choice for May 2014

Maggie & Me [suggested by Clare Freeman]

Maggie & Me

It's 12 October 1984. An IRA bomb blows apart the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Miraculously, Margaret Thatcher survives. In small-town Scotland, eight-year-old Damian Barr watches in horror as his mum rips her wedding ring off and packs their bags. He knows he, too, must survive.

Damian, his sister and his Catholic mum move in with her sinister new boyfriend while his Protestant dad shacks up with the glamorous Mary the Canary. Divided by sectarian suspicion, the community is held together by the sprawling Ravenscraig Steelworks. But darkness threatens as Maggie takes hold: she snatches school milk, smashes the unions and makes greed good. Following Maggie's advice, Damian works hard and plans his escape. He discovers that stories can save your life and - in spite of violence, strikes, AIDS and Clause 28 - manages to fall in love dancing to Madonna in Glasgow's only gay club.

Maggie & Me is a touching and darkly witty memoir about surviving Thatcher's Britain; a story of growing up gay in a straight world and coming out the other side in spite of, and maybe because of, the iron lady. [Product description from Amazon]

About the Author

Wikipedia page.

 

Shortlisted for this month

Clare's other two choices for this month were:

Room

Room

Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don’t have the key.

Jack and Ma are prisoners. [Product description from Amazon]

The above description may be brief, but the book is widely discussed elsewhere on the net, and it's not very often a book has its own website.

About the Author

Author's Wikipedia page.
Author's website.

Old Filth

Old Filth

FILTH, in his heyday, was an international lawyer with a practice in the Far East. Now, only the oldest QCs and Silks can remember that his nickname stood for Failed In London Try Hong Kong.

Long ago, Old Filth was a Raj orphan - one of the many young children sent 'Home' from the East to be fostered and educated in England. Jane Gardam's new novel tells his story, from his birth in what was then Malaya to the extremities of his old age.

Brilliantly constructed - going backwards and forwards in time, yet constantly working towards the secret at its core - OLD FILTH is funny and heart-breaking, witty and peopled with characters who astonish, dismay and delight the reader. Jane Gardam is as sensitive to the 'jungle' within children as she is to the eccentricities of the old. [Product description from Amazon]

About the Author

Wikipedia page.
Jane Gardam has no personal web site, but there is this biography note.

 

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