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Miranda France grew up on a farm not unlike Hill Farm. She is the author of two highly acclaimed travel books, Bad Times in Buenos Aires and Don Quixote's Delusions but this is her first novel. She has won the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. She now lives in London with her husband and two children.
Farmer Hayes loves the land - but hates farming. His neglected wife Isabel adores her three children, but is temperamentally unsuited to life as a wife and mother. The Smith sisters have not spoken to one another for forty years, farm-hand Mikey dabbles in pyromania, while neighbour Mr Payne has fled the city, only to find a greater threat to his karma in the hedgerows of Middle England. And after one incendiary summer, all of their lives will be different...It was originally published with the title Hill Farm .
'Intelligent, insightful, enlightening and gripping' ML Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans When fire devastates Turney House, London's finest stately home, the immaculate Lady Alexandra Marchant demands that everything be restored exactly as it was 'the day before the fire'. Every charred remnant must be salvaged. Even the famous chandelier will be pieced back together into a flawless reconstruction. But is it possible, or even desirable, to resurrect the past? And why do we care so much about it? Critics say the restored Turney can never be more than an elegant fake; Lady Alexandra Marchant says Turney's doors, its cafe and gift shop, must be re-opened to the paying public as soon as possible. Ros Freeman is called in as part of the effort, to Turney's tented village of carvers, gilders, plasterers and stonemasons. Ros loves her work as a paper restorer. She considers herself an expert in uncovering the past, layer by layer, to bring out the truth. And yet in her personal life there are corners, shadows, ghosts, she fails to see. Until a discovery in Turney's Rose Room challenges her to look again.
A humorous and affectionate look at modern Spain, and a celebration of the country's greatest book, from the pen of a brilliant young writer. When in 1987 Miranda France spent a year living in Madrid, the post-dictatorship ebullience was at its height. Pornography and soft drugs were legalised alongside more basic freedoms, such as divorce, party-affiliation and kissing in the street. In 1998 she returned to make a journey through the great cities and towns of central Spain - Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca and others. With the new prosperity, much has changed. But much has also endured, as she learns from the people she meets, who include a private detective, a shepherd, various nuns, two belly dancers and a Castilian separatist. She also discovers that Cervantes' DON QUIXOTE' published in 1605 and the most translated book after the Bible - is a work of genius which still helps to explain the Spanish character: today's Spaniards still suffer from Don Quixote's delusions, and are as stubborn, inflexible and unrealistic as they have always been.
A funny and poignant account of life in Buenos Aires, by a young prize-winning writer. In 1993 Miranda France moved to South America, drawn to Buenos Aires as the intellectual hub of the continent, with its wealth of writers and its romantic, passionate and tragic history. She found that is was all these things, but it was also a terrible place to live. The inhabitants of Buenos Aires are famously unhappy. All over South America they are known for their arrogance, their fixation of Europe and their moodiness. Very soon, Miranda France encounters' bronca' - the simmering and barely controllable rage that is a staple feature of life in the Argentinian capital. She finds that 'bronca' has deep roots: the violence and racism of the first European settlers; the dictatorships, especially in the 1970s when so many 'disappeared'; even Evita Peron, for there was no rage to rival Evita's.