No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Salley Vickers is the author of the word-of-mouth bestseller Miss Garnet's Angel and several other bestselling novels including Mr Golightly's Holiday, The Other Side of You and Dancing Backwards as well as a collection of short stories Aphrodite's Hat. She has worked as a cleaner, a dancer, a university teacher of literature and a psychoanalyst. She is currently a RLF fellow at Newnham College Cambridge and she divides her time between Cambridge and London.
Her first name, Salley (about which she is often asked, and which can cause problems on computer searches for her books), is spelled with an ‘e’ because it is the Irish for ‘willow’ (from the Latin: salix, salicis) as in the W. B. Yeats poem, ‘Down by the salley gardens’.
It's 1958 and Sylvia Blackwell is appointed children's librarian in the long-forgotten library in East Mole. Her enthusiasm to inspire the children and engender a love of reading doesn't quite go to plan when she falls in love and the town she grew to love turns on her. A gorgeously delightful and nostalgic book that makes you hanker back to a lost time when children's literature first stole your heart.
Charming, sometimes funny, sometimes strange, always well written, these are little jewels from the pen that gave us Miss Garnet’s Angel and Mr Golightly’s Holiday. She is a witty and elegant writer with a beautiful turn of phrase. A few well-placed words bring characters and settings effortlessly to life. Dip in and read one or take them all in order, either way you are in for a treat. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
June 2013 Book of the Month. A captivating, magical and slightly sinister story of secrets, forgiveness, loss and love. It’s the perfect book for readers who loved Joanne Harris' Chocolat. No one knows where the mysterious cleaner came from, and she is happy to hide her past, but before long she is involved with and helping numerous people. Then rumours begin to circulate and she is forced to confront her history. A lovely and, at times, surprisingly insightful read.
This book is sheer delight. With a sharp observation of the minutiae of human life combined with wonderful little twists and turns, the writing is reminiscent of all that so many enjoy in Alexander McCall Smith. Here, Salley Vickers conjures up characters with whom she clearly enjoys having such fun to the extent that we, the reader, cannot but share the writer's enjoyment in the writing by our enjoyment in the reading. If you haven't read her novels, these short stories are a splendid introduction to the talented Ms Vickers. Enjoy.
March 2007 Book of the MonthThe Other Side of You explores the theme of redemption through love and art, which has become a hallmark of Salley Vickers's acclaimed work. As with her other highly popular novels including her hugely celebrated debut Miss Garnet’s Angel, this is a multi-layered and subtly audacious story, which traces the boundaries of life and death and the difficult possibilities of repentance. I think Sebastian Faulks was absolutely right when he said, of this novel, ‘Tremendously moving…this is a subtle and thoughtful novel and in the resolution there is anguish as well as calm’. It’s elegantly written and the prose floats effortlessly on every page. To read an interview with Salley Vickers about The Other Side of You , click here.
The new edition of Salley Vicker's sensational debut novel. 'Miss Garnet's Angel' is a voyage of discovery; a novel about Venice but also the rich story of the explosive possibilities of change in all of us at any time. Julia Garnet is a teacher. Just retired, she is left a legacy which she uses by leaving her orderly life and going to live - in winter - in an apartment in Venice. Its beauty, its secret corners and treasures, and its people overwhelm a lifetime of reserve and caution. Above all, she's touched by the all-prevalent spirit of the Angel, Raphael. The ancient tale of Tobias, who travels to Media unaware he is accompanied by the Archangel Raphael, unfolds alongside Julia Garnet's contemporary journey. The two stories interweave with parents and landladies, restorers and priests, American tourists and ancient travellers abounding. The result is an enormously satisfying journey of the spirit - and Julia Garnet is a character to treasure.
'Two sisters, Hassie and Margot Days, after heated exchanges and months of debate, had put together the money left them by their father and bought a house in Hope Wenlock, just on the English side of the Welsh Borders. The house was timbered, roomy and, certainly on the outside, picturesque; a jigsaw picture house , it was described by the agents (a description which had for some time set Hassie against going to view it). What she had seen, when Margot's persistence eroded her resistance, was a rambling redbrick building, covered in Virginia creeper, with a sprawling garden, invaded by weeds, yellow fungi, and clumps of brooding nettles. . .' When the sisters hire Murat, who has recently arrived in Hope Wenlock from Albania, to be their gardener, they unwittingly unleash tensions in the quiet English village they have begun to call home. The Gardener is a beautifully observed tale of sisterhood, secrets, belonging and new beginnings, from the best-selling author of The Librarian.
The new novel from Salley Vickers, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Librarian 'Heart-warming... Grandmothers is a beautifully written and moving celebration of this love, too often unsung, that reaches out across the generations' The Times Grandmothers is the story of three very different women and their relationship with the younger generation: fiercely independent Nan, who leads a secret life as an award-winning poet when she is not teaching her grandson Billy how to lie; glamorous Blanche, deprived of the company of her beloved granddaughter Kitty by her hostile daughter-in-law, who finds solace in rebelliously taking to drink and shop lifting; and shy, bookish Minna who in the safety of shepherd's hut shares with her surrogate granddaughter Rose her passion for reading. The outlook of all three women subtly alters when through their encounters with each other they discover that the past is always with us and that we go on learning and changing until the very end. Grandmothers is a beautifully observed, sometimes subversive, often tender and elegiac novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Librarian. 'A fond portrait of what it is to love a child, both yours and not... a tonic for the overlooked modern grandmother' Sunday Times 'Vickers sees with a clear eye and writes with a light hand. She's a presence worth cherishing in the ranks of modern novelists' Philip Pullman
From the bestselling author of THE LIBRARIAN How much can love ask of us? Brilliant and mercurial Will Tye suffers a life changing accident. The terrible event ripples through three generations of the complex and eccentric Tye family, bringing to light old tragedies and dangerous secrets. Each member of the family holds some clue to the chain of events which may have led to the accident and each holds themselves to blame. Most closely affected is Will's cousin Cecelia, whose affinity with Will leaves her most vulnerable to his suffering and whose own life is for ever changed by how she will respond to it. Told through the eyes of three women close to Will, his sister, his grandmother and his aunt, Cousins is a novel weaving darkness and light which takes us from the outbreak of World War Two to the present day, exploring the recurrence of tragedy, the nature of trangression, and the limits of morality and love. 'A wonderful book. Salley Vickers spins a spellbinding account of a family in distress' Elizabeth Strout
'A wonderful book. Salley Vickers spins a spellbinding account of a family in distress' Elizabeth Strout on 'Cousins'Spring, 1918. Nine-year-old Charlotte Tye wakes up unusually early the night before her brother's wedding, and steals out down the familiar track leading from her house to the seashore. There, she meets a local man, standing alone amid the eider ducks, who carries a mysterious message for her... Read more about three generations of the Tye family from the First World War to the present day in the first two chapters of Salley Vickers' powerful new novel, 'Cousins', included in this e-book.
A short story by Salley Vickers from the collection Reader, I Married Him: Stories inspired by Jane Eyre.In 'Reader, She Married Me' Mr Rochester reveals a long-kept secret.Edited by Tracy Chevalier, the full collection, Reader I Married Him, brings together some of the finest and most creative voices in fiction today, to celebrate and salute the strength and lasting relevance of Charlotte Bronte's game-changing novel and its beloved narrator.
The new novel from the best-selling author of Miss Garnet's Angelholiday: a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation.[literally: holy day]Many years ago Mr Golightly wrote a work of dramatic fiction which grew to be an international best-seller. But his reputation is on the decline and he finds himself out of touch with the modern world. He decides to take a holiday and comes to the ancient village of Great Calne, hoping to use the opportunity to bring his great work up to date. But he soon finds that events take over his plans and that the themes he has written on are being strangely replicated in the lives of the villagers he is staying among. He meets Ellen Thomas, a reclusive artist, young Johnny Spence, an absconding school boy, and the tough-minded Paula who works at the local pub. As he comes to know his neighbours better, Mr Golightly begins to examine his attitude to love, and to ponder the terrible catastrophe of his son's death. And as the drama unfolds we begin to learn the true and extraordinary identity of Mr Golightly and the nature of the secret sorrow which haunts him links him to his new friends. Mysterious, light of touch, witty and profound Mr Golightly's Holiday confirms Salley Vickers's reputation as one of our most original and engaging novelists.
From the author of Miss Garnet's Angel and the forthcoming The Cleaner of Chartres comes a relatable short story about family holidays.When Beth decides to treat her husband Hamish to a short holiday in the Scottish Highlands, his paternal home, she does not bet on the arrival of Una, her oddball mother-in-law. Una's quirks - swimming outdoors (naked) in the freezing cold, her St Tropez perma-tan and breaking into song- naturally put a strain on the holiday, and on their relationship.On the remote, windswept isle, surrounded by the idyllic Scottish countryside, it is almost possible to forget that they are accompanied by her.But when Hamish is called away on business, leaving his wife and mother together in the cottage, he fears that all hell may break loose...Vacation includes a four chapter preview of Salley Vickers' fantastic new novel The Cleaner of Chartres, a charming and timeless novel about motherhood, love and community.Salley Vickers is the author of the word-of-mouth bestseller Miss Garnet's Angel and several other bestselling novels including Mr Golightly's Holiday, The Other Side of You and Dancing Backwards as well as a collection of short stories Aphrodite's Hat. She has worked as a cleaner, a dancer, a university teacher of literature and a psychoanalyst. She is currently a RLF fellow at Newnham College Cambridge and she divides her time between Cambridge and London.
The brilliant new work from the bestselling author of 'Miss Garnet's Angel' and 'The Other Side of You'. Violet Hetherington has taken the rash step of joining a transatlantic cruise ship to New York to visit Edwin, an old friend. As she makes the six day crossing, she relives the traumatic events that led to her losing Edwin's friendship, and abandoning her career as a poet, for the safety of marriage and domesticity. Despite her natural reserve, she meets a rich variety of passengers travelling with her, who affect her understanding of her own past. Most significantly, she meets Dino, the dance host, whose motives in befriending Vi are shady, but who teaches her to ballroom dance - and inadvertently helps her to recover from her past. Moving between the late sixties and the present day, 'Dancing Backwards' is written with the lightness of touch and psychological insight which characterise Salley Vickers' acclaimed work. This bittersweet novel is subtle, poignant and wonderfully entertaining.
It is 1938 and Sigmund Freud, suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer, has been permitted by the Nazis to leave Vienna. He seeks refuge in England, taking up residence in the house in Hampstead in which he will die only fifteen months later. But his last months are made vivid by the arrival of a stranger, who comes and goes according to Freud's state of health. Who is the mysterious visitor and why has he come to tell the famed proponent of the Oedipus complex his strange story? Set partly in pre-war London and partly in ancient Greece, Where Three Roads Meet is as brilliantly compelling as it is moving. Former psychoanalyst and acclaimed novelist Salley Vickers revisits a crime committed long ago which still has disturbing reverberations for us all.
The fantastic new edition of the bestselling second novel from the author of 'Miss Garnet's Angel'. Bridget Hansome and Frances Slater have only one thing in common. And that's Peter Hansome, who has died suddenly. Without their husband or lover, the women find that before they can rebuild their lives they must look to themselves and unravel mysteries that they had never before even suspected. So begins an unlikely alliance between wife and mistress and a voyage of discovery that is as comic as it is profound. 'Instances of the Number 3' is a funny, beguiling exploration of love, bereavement, Shakespeare, illusion and the impossibility of escaping your past. Following on from 'Miss Garnet's Angel', this brilliant novel confirms Salley Vickers as a writer who transcends generations.
Salley Vicker's sensational debut novel, 'Miss Garnet's Angel' is a voyage of discovery; a novel about Venice but also the rich story of the explosive possibilities of change in all of us at any time. Her new book, The Cleaner of Chartres is due to be published in May 2013. Click here to find out more.